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aa HEROES 

F T HE « 
BOER WAR 



FRBDERIK ROMPEL 




THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 




PRESIDENTS S. J. P. KRUGER AND M. T. STEIJN. 



HEKOES OF THE BOER AVAR 



BY 



FREDERIK ROMPEL 

(LATE PARLIAMENTARY AND WAH CORRESPONDENT OF THE VOLKS&TEM, PRETORIA) 



WITH AN INTRODUCTION 



BY 



MAJOR-GENERAL ALBERT PFISTEB 



AND A PREFACE 



BY 



W. T. STEAD 



WITH ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS AND TWO MAPS 



LONDON THE BAGUE AND PRETORIA 

"REVIEW OF REVIEWS" OFFICE THE "NEDERLAND" PUBLISHING CO. 

MCMIII 



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 



j>r 



PREFACE. 



THIS book is one which ought to form part of every collection of the 
literature of the South African War. 

For several reasons: 

First, because it gives more fully than any other book yet published an 
account of the Boers and their leaders as they appear in the eyes of the Dutch 
of South Africa. Hitherto with few exceptions our public has had to form its 
opinion about the Boer Generals and Statesmen from the narratives of their 
enemies. In this book we have the Heroes of the War painted by one who is 
one of their own people, who shares their aspirations, who has lived their life 
and who therefore possesses the first essential for giving us an accurate portrait 
of the men of whom he writes. 

Secondly, because it is only by reading this book that we English can 
understand how it was that the whole non-English world regarded with horror and 
indignation the British devastation of the two Republics. For this book, trans- 
lated into many languages, has been the chief source from which the European 
peoples drew their ideas of the Boers and their leaders. It says little for our 
willingness to hear both sides that it was not until the close of the war that 
the book could be published in England. If our people had but seen the 
burghers as they may see them in the pages of this book, they would surely have 
recoiled from the perpetration of the crime against humanity with which the 
British Government stained the annals of the Empire at the dawn of the Twen- 
tieth Century. 

Thirdly, and this is the most important reason of all, in this book we may 
refresh our souls and strengthen our hearts by looking once more upon the 
Heroes win) have compelled a wondering world to recognize that the Heroic 
Age is not yet closed and that Nature's teeming womb is still producing sons 



305S305 



viii PREFACE. 

whose deeds of high emprise are worthy to rank with the most famous exploits 
recorded in the annals of classic Greece and Rome. The conduct of the British 
in devastating the Republics with a ruthlessness worthy of Hyder Ali and Genghis 
Khan has made us all ashamed of the race to which we belong. But the Boers 
from the highest to the lowest have restored our faith in mankind. Humanity, 
which has been disgraced by the policy of those who slew 20,000 children and 
5,000 women in the concentration camps and then reduced the men to submission 
by exposing the remnants of their womenfolk to death by torture of starvation 
and outrage among the Kaffirs of the veldt, has been redeemed by the heroic 
constancy, the chivalrous magnamity, the unconquerable devotion of the Boers. 
A hundred years hence it is probable that, even in England, no one will 
remember the names of Kitchener, of Roberts and of Buller, excepting as men 
remember the name of Xerxes or of Cornwallis. As the fame of Leonidas pre- 
serves from oblivion the name of the Persian barbarian who sought to overwhelm 
Hellas by the immensity of his armaments, so Lord Milner will probably live in 
history by reason of the reflected refulgence of the heroic patriotism of President 
Steijn. Let no one say that this is to take too optimistic a view of the justice 
of history. It is not a hundred years since Andreas Hofer died. Every school- 
boy is familiar with the exploits of that indomitable Boer of the Tyrol. Who 
is there even among our students that can recall without an effort the names 
of the generals who hunted him to death? 

"Great wars come and great wars go 
Wolf-tracks o'er new-fallen snow — " 

and many a time and often in the annals of the past a nationality has been 
brought to birth by the labour pains of invasion and conquest. Before the war 
there were three sets of Dutch-speaking men in South Africa. They were divided 
politically and they were very far from recognizing each other as a brotherhood, 
members one of another by common sacrifices in the past and common aspirations 
in the future. To-day, in the fiery furnace of a devastating war, all differences 
have disappeared. Out of the dust and confusion of the three years' war there 
has emerged an Africander nation one and indivisible, baptized in the blood of 
heroes and consecrated by the nameless graves of thousands of women and little 
children, who died martyrs to the Fatherland. Once again, "Freedom doth forge 
her mail of adverse fates," and British ascendancy in South Africa will be found 
tb have received its death-blow when British Ministers proclaimed the annexation 
of the Republics. 

For my part, as a British Imperialist in the only true sense, I venture to 
hope that the British flag may wave long over South Africa. But the condition 
without which the permanent retention of the British flag becomes impossible 
is the recognition in South Africa, as in Canada and as in Australia, of the right 
of the Africanders to govern their own country in their own way, with an in- 



PREFACE. ix 

dependence as absolute and unfettered as if these were Republics in name as well 
as in fact. If, in the days to come, a Boer Prime Minister occupies Mr. Rhodes's 
house at Groote Schuur, as the first Premier of Federated South Africa, and if 
the permanent majority of white men in the new Commonwealth are left as free 
to shape their own destinies to their own liking as the Australians, without 
interference from Downing Street, then the British flag may be left flying over 
South Africa. If not, not. The issue rests with Britain. With the flag, if we 
are just and loyal to our old Liberal English principles; without the flag, if we 
continue to trample Liberty and Justice under foot, the Africanders will rule 
South Africa. 

And when the United States of South Africa come into existence, both 
Briton and Boer will look back with honour and reverence and gratitude to the 
Founders of the New Commonwealth, the Heroes of the late War, whose story 
is told in this volume, which it is my privilege to commend to the attention 
of my countrymen. 

• 7a """' 3/ 19 ° 3 - WILLIAM T. STEAL). 



PROEM. 



rpHE deep silence which broods over the Veldt falls with a sense of oppression 
upon the heart, as though the soul, heavy with the spirit of prophecy, quailed 
before the awful presentiment of coming horror. 

But as yet all is calm and peaceful. 

As far as the eye can reach, the tall grasses wave in the breeze, here in 
golden radiance, reminding one of northern corn-fields, there, near some hidden 
stream, shimmering in emerald splendour. Above stretches the deep blue dome 
of heaven; on the far horizon, what is that? Clouds? Mountains? Neither: it is 

THE TRANSVAAL. 

A horseman, mounted on a small wiry-looking pony, canters lightly across 
the Veldt. His dress proclaims him half farmer, half hunter. Yellow riding-boots, 
tightly-fitting breeches, a simple grey jacket, his very business-like rifle his 
bandoleer amply supplied with ammunition give him a somewhat martial 
appearance. The bearded, sun-burnt face looks resolute, rugged, stern, and would 
be forbidding, but for the frank expression of the clear blue eyes: 

THIS IS THE BOER. 

He rides like one who knows every inch of the ground. No wonder, for 
it is his inheritance! Bright with the blood of his ancestors, wrested from 
wild beasts, wrested from savages wilder still, it is his! And he means to 
keep it and to hand on his inheritance to his children, as his father did before 
him, even at the price of his life. 

The fathers conquered a wilderness; the sons by the sweat of their brow 
turned it into a garden. But not in agriculture alone have they succeeded. Their 
State, though young, is promising; their legislation is wise; they have done 
much for trade and education. Tn their determined efforts towards civil and 
intellectual progress, they have done bravely. At the Paris Exhibition of 1900, 
the Transvaal received special distinctions for her public schools, for both 
elementary and advanced education. Who dares dispute the Boer's rights? 
Examine and accept them, for he has paid his purchase-money in blood and 
tears, in endurance and heroism. He holds his own by right of humanity, 
justice and, if you will, sentiment; for he has planted the poetry of his simple 
Arcadian life into this new soil: the poetry that sings of the hero who fights 
not for honour and renown, but for the highest instinct that God lias planted in the 



\ i i PROEM. 

human heart: the love of liberty; the love of wife and child; the love of house 
and home: the poetry of clean living and pure thinking. Then came the 
discovery of gold. And as the pure flame attracts the winged insects of the 
night, so the gleam of the precious metal drew the outcasts of the world and the 
greed of the Outlander speculator. Peace and calm have gone. Will they ever return? 
With good-natured hospitality, the Boer stood aside and allowed the stranger to 
plunder rich treasure hidden in his mountains. But, when, encouraged by this for- 
bearance, the stranger insolently proclaimed himself lord of the soil, when he had 
worn out the Boer's patience with ever-increasing greed and new demands, then, at 
last, the Boer woke to the danger which threatened his independence, his liberty 
and his life. He resolved sternly that he would not let the stranger rob him 
of all that he holds most sacred, but that he would once and for all make a 
mighty effort to rid his country of these parasites. But now a mighty power 
is incensed against him. In London, the Stock Exchange, which buys where it 
cannot command, is an important factor in politics. And so regiment after 
regiment crosses the sea to fight the Boer: 

THAT IS THE WAR. 

With veiled face and a moan of anguish, idyllic poetry flees before the din 
of battle. Will she return, now that the rude dust of arms has subsided? Or will 
the hyenas of greed, the Cosmopolitan Parvenus, reign in the Land of the Lions? 

WHO KNOWS? 

What heroes our stalwarts proved themselves! All the world rings with 
their praises. Surely, surely, it cannot be that all this heroism will be in vain; 
that the whirlpool of might will draw them down into its black abyss ! 

Nations gazed with throbbing hearts upon the tragedy. Anxiously they 
watched the struggle; and to the love and sympathy of our kindred these 
sketches are dedicated. However imperfect and incomplete the picture, it shall 
attempt to place before them in a true light the iniquity of this unhappy war 
and to do justice to our brave brothers, who laid down their lives gladly 
that their children might be free. 

Would to God that the author of these sketches might be able to revise 
and complete them on the soil of a happy South Africa! 

The Hatjue. 

P. A. NIERSTRASZ, 

Managing Director "Neclerland" Publishing Co. 



INTRODUCTION. 

HOW SOUTH AFRICA ROSE TO HER PLACE 
AMONG THE NATIONS. 

By 

MAJOR-GENERAL ALBERT PFISTER. 



WHILE the north coast of Africa figures in history from the earliest 
times of antiquity, the interior and South remained long unexplored. 
Imagination, however, was busy with the Dark Continent, and it is 
needless to say that, in that age of ignorance and superstition, the most 
extraordinary fables prevailed regarding the land and people. Till then the 
adventurers had kept to the coast; but science came to their assistance 
with her new discoveries, and at length they ventured out upon the open 
sea. During those years, Christopher Columbus, with the help of Spain, 
was able to carry out his long-cherished plans, and started on his voyage 
of discovery to find a western passage to India. The Portuguese tried 1>ias u rouu(is j*« 

ii 11 i it ji • t» i i southern-most 

to reach the same goal by the south and east, and in this way Bartholomeo point otAfrua 

Dias arrived at the southern promontory in the commencement of i4 86. 141 

The King of Portugal named it the Cape of Good Hope, for the dream 

of an ocean-route to the Far East seemed about to be realized. The Cape, 

as well as the whole of South Africa, was looked upon as a Portuguese 

possession. But no one troubled about the new acquisition, and it became No 

Man's Land. At the end of the sixteenth century, Spain and Portugal 

were no longer the great Powers that they once had been, but had handed 

over their commercial supremacy to England and the Netherlands. In 

several Dutch towns, and especially in Amsterdam, the trade in Indian 

spices became very important. 

In March 1602, the Dutch East India Company first came into existence. ^5"^,%^, 
It used to take many months to reach India by way of the Cape. Traders India company 
were always face to face with the danger that water and provisions might 
fail them before they came to the end of their journey. A station midway, 
where they might obtain water, vegetables and fresh meat, would be a 
most desirable acquisition. The Cape — No Man's Land — provided such 
a station. About 30 miles north of the Cape, they found a bay, providing 



xiv INTRODUCTION. 

a convenient landing-place. Here they laid the foundations of Cape Town; 

from here path-tinders and pioneers started to explore the interior, bringing 

the surrounding country, where the Hottentots, Namaquas and Kaffirs were 

waging constant warfare, under subjection and cultivation. Religious and 

political persecution, want of elbow-room in the Old Country, love of adventure: 

these are the great factors in founding and filling colonies. 

van Riebeek The first large batch of emigrants landed at the Cape in 1652, under 

Cape: a i652. e the charge of the Dutch naval surgeon, Jan Anthonie van Riebeek. A gardener 

and his wife Annetje are specially mentioned as having been the first 

to put spade in South African soil. Soon other colonists followed, settled 

The colonists near Capetown and planted wheat, maize, tobacco and vegetables. To 

call themselves F in 1 i n 1 1 1 -n 

"BoerB." distinguish themselves trom the townspeople, they called themselves Boers : 

farmers or planters. In the aggregate, however, they called themselves Burghers 
or I 'rije Burgers.. Up to this time, the colonists had come from Holland, but 
immigration of soon Germans and Danes joined them. Then came the Revocation of the Edict 
1H88-16S9. of Nantes, and 150 fugitives found a new home on African soil. The 

new-comers did not arrive empty handed, but brought with them many 
precious gifts, invaluable to the young community. Not the least amongst 
these was vine-culture. Soon the different nationalities amalgamated, 
split up again into groups forming small communities, and pressed forward 
into the interior, subjugating the natives and cultivating the wilderness. 
Meanwhile, Spanish and Portuguese adventurers, driven by the greed of 
gold, had crossed the Atlantic and settled in the New World. They had 
not the stamina of the hardy settlers at the Cape. More than half of 
them became merged in the native population and soon ceased to be the 
dominant race. A hardier race, strong and resolute like ourselves, the 
English Puritans, had settled in New England, during the ten years of 
South African colonization. These two groups of colonists, those of the 
Cape and New England, developed, as was but natural, into a powerful 
white aristocracy. Both possessed in the highest degree stern resolution 
and the governing instinct of the Germanic races. The passionate love of 
liberty was equally strong in either. 

When success crowned the efforts of the hard-working colonists, and 
their circumstances became easier, the population increased rapidly, and it 
became necessary to penetrate further and further inland, and to drive 
back the natives who opposed them. Small towns and villages sprang 
up to the east and north of Cape Town. The impulse to trek onward 
and ever onward impelled them to the same extent as it did their cousins 
in North America towards the Far West. In the year 1786, a great number 
Foundation of of colonists crossed the Karoo, founded the town of Graaf Reinet, and 
itm* opened up the great Fish River on the northern boundary of the Colony. 

Their chief mistress at the Cape, the Dutch East India Company, 
watched their progress with anything but sympathetic eyes. She looked 
upon the Boers as her subjects, who were not so difficult to govern 
so long as she kept them crowded together in a small station like Cape 
Town. But she had to realize, and she did not like it, that the young 
community had reached maturity, and that it would no longer remain attached 
to her apron-strings. 

They had passed through invigorating perils with wild beasts and savages, 
and become what thev were: strong, virtuous, self-reliant. Such men as 



INTRODUCTION. xv 

they cannot be kept in subjection. Again and again they felt that 
they had good cause of complaint against the tyrannical laws of the 
Company. In the year 1795, following the example of the seceding states of The Boon of 
North America, the Boers of (iraaf Reinet declared their independence, not, deoure their 
indeed, of Holland, but of the Dutch East India Company. By the end f gJ e P eodence 
the eighteenth century, Holland began to collect troops in Cape Colony: 
in all, three regiments: the Swiss, Wurtemberg and Luxemburg Regiments. 
The happy isolation of Cape Colony had come to an end. She began to 
take her place amongst the maritime nations, for her geographical position 
was a most important one. Over 100 ships entered Cape Town harbour 
during the year. The population was 15,000, of whom 6,000 were foreigners. 
The principal trade with India had fallen into the hands of England. 
The flourishing Cape Colony would be an exceedingly valuable acquisition 
to her; and accordingly, when the French Republic in 1795 drove the House of 
Orange from Holland and founded the Batavian Republic, England claimed 
the right of succession to her foreign possessions. In the autumn of 
1795, an English fleet appeared off Cape Town, landed troops and took 
formal possession. After the Peace of Amiens, in 1803, the Colony Avas 
handed back to Holland. But this peace, after all, was only an armistice, 
and, when the war recommenced in 1805, England retained the Colony. More 
troops were landed, and the Dutch were signally defeated at Blauwberg, on the the 8 Dutch 6 and 
8th of January 1806. England obtained the whole Colony almost without a ta . k „ es possession 

J . ~ . „. J TT . . of ( ajie Colon] : 

struggle, and the possession was ratified by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. isor. 

Under the sovereignty of England, the life of the Boers, as well as 
that of the amalgamated colonists of different nations, assumed new pro- 
portions, not merely on account of the English government, though 
that brought many improvements with it, but on account of the innovations 
which followed in its train. In the effort at expansion in foreign countries, it 
folloAvs that the colonists must come into frequent collision with the natives 
When these natives are well armed and naturally brave, the task becomes 
a formidable one , and strong measures have to be put in requisition to 
acquire and retain new territories. Fierce enmity between conqueror and 
conquered is the natural result. Add racial antagonism to the above, and 
it is easilv understood with what difficulties the pioneer in a new land , , 

» . Antagonism 

has to contend. Now it is to the interest of a government that a colonist between natives 

should remain a useful, obedient subject, and, in order that he may not an 

outgrow this usefulness and become a power instead of a "means towards 

the end," the government is tempted to a certain extent to uphold the 

native interest. To do so creates a counterpoise to the growth of the colonist, 

which latter may become a danger to a weak government. That this is 

so was proved by the action of the Government in North America, when, 

during the revolt of the seceding states, in 1775, they found a powerful 

ally in the Indians, who destroyed the farms of the settlers and committed 

the most outrageous cruelties. The colonists at the Cape were forbidden 

to carry arms; consequently, they were quite unable to protect themselves 

efficiently against the predatory propensities of the natives. But what 

embittered them and offended them more than anything else was the fact that 

the police force was made up of Hottentots, a race which they considered 

inferior to their own slaves. To the free Africander, high-mettled and 

impatient of control, this appeared an unendurable insult. 



xvi INTRODUCTION. 

A new grievance arose. As early as the seventeenth and eighteenth cen- 
turies, England held a monopoly of the slave-trade. We learn from so 
reliable a source as the English historians themselves that it was of 
all their trades the most lucrative and important. The English traders flooded 
the colonies with slaves, in spite of the remonstrances of the settlers, as 
was shown in North America. During the Avars that followed on 1792, 
.almost the entire foreign trade passed into English hands; consequently, the 
importance of the slave-trade assumed a secondary consideration. Besides, 
important voices in Parliament were raised against it, and it had, of 
necessity, suffered greatly after the secession of the American Colonies. 
In 1808, a law was passed suppressing the slave-trade, and a certain sum 
was voted as compensation to planters and farmers. The number of slaves 
owned by the Boers was estimated at 35,000, the greater part of whom 
were imported by English traders, and the rest made up of Hottentots, 
Kaffirs and other natives, 
arifsand uie° n Up to this time, nobody had troubled about the religion of the native; 
Boers - but, under the British sovereignty, the London Missionary Society became 

exceedingly active. In India, where politics and religion go hand in 
hand, discretion is exacted from the missionaries, and thus an effective 
curb is put on extravagant religious zeal; but here, where they met 
with no resistance, except the reserve of the Boer and his strict supervision 
and discipline over his domestic slaves, they soon outran all discretion 
and became a most disturbing influence. Add to these conditions the 
Boer's objection to the English language, and you get a fair idea of the 
opposition and even enmity that was bound to be the result of the situation 
In order to increase their importance as against the Boers, and to ingratiate 
themselves with the authorities, the missionaries eagerly lent an ear 
to any idle gossip, in some instances going so far as to accuse the Boers 
of the most heartless cruelties towards the slaves: needless to say, without 
the slightest foundation. A great number of men and women were brought 
befor the circuit assizes. The charges were proved to be silly stories with 
no foundation on fact. But, for long years afterwards, colonists spoke of 
the indignity to which they had been subjected by being brought to trial 
on such flimsy pretexts, and these sessions come to be known as the u black 
circuit." Impressions are apt to be written in stone instead of sand 
when they fall upon natures of such depth as that of the Boer. And so 
it happened that he could never rid himself of the belief that the mission- 
aries were spies and "unjust counsellors," where his interests were con- 
cerned, and that the Government always sided with them and always 
to his disadvantage. The mischief which these exaggerations, not to use 
a harder and less euphonious term, did in England is only now being realized. 
a'BoeTrisi" ° f ^ ie Boers °f Graaf Reinet were possessed of the most invincible passion 
by England, for independence. They rose in the year 1815. The punishment meted out 
bioodshedTi8ifi. to the rebels was unduly severe and exceedingly injudicious. The executions 
of six of them were carried out in a particularly cruel way, on the 9th 
of March 1817, at Slachter's Nek. This bloodshed helped to raise a 
barrier between the two nations, which will not easily be passed this side 
of Judgment Day. It had the same effect on the Boers as the so-called 
Boston slaughter on the Americans. 

It became evident to the Governor that a counterpoise was needed to 



INTRODUCTION, xvii 

keep the Boers in check; consequently, English emigrants were in every way 
encouraged to settle at the Cape. At the close of the year 1820, 5,000 
new colonists had settled in South Africa. No doubt this influx of 
Britons was one of the chief reasons why, after 1825, English became 
the official language, although the old colonists had been allowed to 
retain theirs when they were handed over to England in 1806. The consequences 
of this measure were serious for the Boer, as, not being conversant with the 
English language, he was handicapped in defending his rights or watching 
over his interests. si££?i£i. 

The most serious innovation occurred during the year 1834, namely, the 
abolition of slavery. Parliament passed a bill to the effect that all slaves 
should be liberated and their owners compensated. The Boers did not 
seriously oppose this measure; all they insisted on was a fair compensation. 
But the compensation was made payable in England. Fiscal matters were 
then managed in a peculiar way, to put it mildly, and so it happened 
that the middlemen were able to put large sums into their pockets, 
while the Boers received little or nothing. In many cases, those who 
had formerly been, if not wealthy, at least well-to-do, were threatened 
with absolute ruin. Still they were compelled to liberate their slaves. 
But for agriculture and for the breding of cattle native labour was absolutely 
necessary in this semi-tropical climate. This labour being set free , the 
country was overrun with idlers and vagabonds. The sixth Kaffi 

The most important of the so-called Kaffir wars broke out in 1834 War: 1834 " 1835 - 
to 1835, shortly after the abolition of slavery. The Kaffirs crossed the 
borders in thousands, robbing, burning and murdering. Sir Benjamin 
d'Urban drove them back with the assistance of the Boers. But this did 
not please the home Government. D'Urban was recalled, and the tract of 
country restored to the Kaffirs. Not only that, but the colonists had 
to pay the cost of the war , their complaints being entirely ignored. 
These flagrant injustices: Hottentot police; the bloodshed at Slachter's 
Nek; the official introduction of the English language: the abolition of„ . , .. 

, O O O ' .. Part of the 

slavery; the partisanship displayed in the Kaffir wars: all these irritated Boers leave 
the colonists to the utmost. Nothing remained but to give way, to trek torf; others' 
onward into a distant countrv, far from English territory, where the Boer" ma ,V nat , OM 

. i ,. ",. , ° . - • . . CapeTown: 1836. 

might live as he chose to live and manage his domestic matters m a 
workmanlike and practical way. In their minds, no doubt, was the 
Biblical example, where the oppressed of old set out for the Promised 
Land to seek and find freedom. 

A part of the Boer Colony, who had reconciled themselves to English 
law, remained in Cape Colony. So, from 1836, we have had two kinds 
of Boers: those who chose to sit still at Cape Town and those free Boers 
who were on the trek, but always hampered and persecuted by the British. 

New-comers from Cape Colony joined the great caravan till it numbered The "Great 
10,000 souls. Two small divisions, under van Rensburg and Trichardt, trekked 
northwest, but were nearly all murdered by the Kaffirs; the larger part passed 
over the Drakensberg, into the flowering garden of Natal. The leader of the 
Boers, Piet Retief, had obtained a formal concession of the country from the 
chief of the Kaffirs, Dingaan, who, however, treacherously attacked the caravan, 
cutting down the leaders and many women and children. This bloodshed was 
committed on the spot where now stands the village of Weenen, or "Tears." 

2 



xviii INTRODUCTION. 

Boer victory Tlie Boers concentrated, and gained a complete victory over the Zulus 

over the Zulu ^ . 

Kaffirs on Din -on the 16th of December 1888. This victory is celebrated every 
no-'miMv'' L888. y ear on "Dingaan's Day." Pietermaritzburg was built on the spot on 
which it was won. The hopes of the Boers centred in this prospect of a 
new and safe home. Here they laid the foundation of their Republic. Only 
a few years afterwards, in 1842, the English Government took forcible 
possession of the territory. Again the Boers took up their pilgrim's staff 
and wandered forth in search of freedom, under the leadership of Andries 
Boers found the Pretorius. They re-crossed the Drakensberg. Some remained there, founding 

t >rangeFreeState " ^ . . 

uiuior Pretorius: the Orange Free State, between the Vaal and the Orange River, while 
others crossed the Vaal. But they were not left there in peace for long. 
On the 29th of August 1848, the Boers, consisting of 600 men, were attacked 

England bv an English force of 1200 and beaten at Boomplaats. England annexed 

annexes the •' ° „ „ r ° 

orange Free the Orange rree otate. 

state: 1848. p Qr a ^j^ time, Pretorius, on whose head a price, was set, started swith 

four republics part of the wandering Boers to explore an unknown land toward the 
in the Transvaal. north They j oined the Boerg already settled j n t he Transvaal, and 

conveiTtVonaso^' founded four republics: Potschefstroom, Lijdenburg, Utrecht and Zoutpansberg. 
The Transvaal p or a time, English attention was diverted from South Africa by 
government. the course of events of the Crimean War, and she agreed to the Sand 
River Convention of 17 January 1852, granting self-government to the Boers 
conv"en°ionT wno ^ a & settled across the Vaal. The only thing insisted on was that there 
1 | 54 h' a o ' t0n ° rny should be no slavery. During the Crimean War, in 1854, the Orange Free 
Free state. ° State also obtained self-government by the Bloemfontein Convention. 
The four Trans- The long desired goal seemed to have been attained at last! In 
beconie K one bhcs 1857 the four republics of the Transvaal became one under the title 
south African f the South African Republic. The first President was young 

Republic: I80S. . . l J & 

Martmus Wessel Pretorius. 

The Boers were divided into several sections consisting of those who 

had quietly stayed in Cape Colony under British sovereignty; of those 

emigrants who had stayed in Natal, also under British government; and, 

lastly, of the free people of the Orange Free State, having Bloemfontein 

for their capital, and of the South African Republic, with Pretoria for 

their capital. England still continued to interfere with the internal expansion 

of both Republics; and the cultivation of the land, educational measures, 

and the hostile attitude of the Kaffirs greatly delayed their progress. 

d^amom? fields Diamonds were discovered near Kimberley, in the Orange Free 

near Kimberiey : State, in 1869. Attracted by greed, tens of thousands flowed to the 

into 'English spot, the majority of whom were English. The right of the Free State to 

this valuable land was disputed, and she was compelled to relinquish it in 

1876, receiving very inadequate compensation from England. 

In order to obtain a road to the coast, the South African Republic 
annexed the land at Delagoa Bay, which was unclaimed. But Portugal 
insisted that she had taken possession of it in 1546. The President of 
the French Republic was chosen as arbitrator; he decided in favour of 
Portugal in 1875. 
Battle of the Serious dangers were added to all this trouble. The Kaffir Chief Secucuni 

vith the Kaffir invaded the north of Natal. T. F. Burgers, who succeeded the popular 



Chief Secucuni : 
187C. 



Pretorius as President, marched against Secucuni in 1876. The Boers destroyed 
one of his forts, but were not strong enough to complete his punishment, 



[NTRODUOTION. xix 

iind were compelled to turn hack. The treasury was empty, debts heavy, 
and there were no means of getting money; besides, the Boers were divided 
against themselves. The confusion in all parts of the South African 
Republic was indescribable. Meanwhile. Europe had given England a free 
hand. It began to be rumoured that there was gold in the Transvaal, 
and that President Burgers could not make himself obeyed. The time 
had come for England, it was said , to assert herself once and for 
all: the Boers themselves were in favour of her doing so. Indeed, the 
clever English agent succeeded in obtaining the signature of several 
hundred townspeople who were in favour of British supremacy. On the En g land 
strength of this document, Sir Theophilus Shepstone, on the 12th of Soutb African 
April 1877, proclaimed the incorporation of the South African Republic Republic: 187T 
in the colonial possessions of England. British troops garrisoned Pretoria. 

In vain the Republic sent envoy after envoy to London, Paul 
Kruger among their number, to protest against this arbitrary proceeding, 
this incorporation based merely on the signaure of a number of quite 
unimportant Boers. The war with Cetevvayo supplied England with a 
pretext for sending more and more troops into the Transvaal. Liberty 
seemed gone. No representations could shake the ingenious belief in England 
that she had the reversion of these valuable countries, if the proprietors 
were unable to hold their own with or without foreign assistance. 

Although the English rulers were liberal in promises to compensate 
the Boers for their loss of liberty with self-government and so forth, the 
position in the Transvaal soon became unendurable, by reason of the 
despotism of the rulers, who seemed to take a special delight in humiliating 
their subjects whenever occasion offered. The same consequences that 
followed a similar policy of exasperation, more than a century earlier, 
in North America and in Switzerland, now made themselves felt in the The Boers , lf 
Transvaal. Despair broke down all barriers. A national meeting was held.* 1 " ! ransvaal 
on the 13th of December 1880, in the remote plain of Paardekraal, establish their 
near Krugersdorp, which resolved upon the restoration of the South Repub 
African Republic, and appointed Martinus Pretorius, Paul Kruger and 
Pieter Joubert as provisional administrators. More and more trusted 
Boers joined, and, on the 16th of December, "'Dingaan's Day," the celebrated 
day which will for ever be green in the memory of Boers yet unborn, 
the day when the Zulus were so gloriously defeated, a large gathering, with 
hands uplifted to Heaven and hearts throbbing with heroic resolve, swore 
that they would set their country free once more, or die in its defence. 
In order to erect a monument to the vows that thrilled their hearts, 
each Boer took up a stone and solemnly added it to the gradually growing 
heap. To me there is something ineffably grand in this simple, yei 
powerful, display of the sentiment that filled each soul to over-flowing: 
it corresponds with the splendid, virile character of the men. 

The Boers collected, 4,000 strong, on the road from Pretoria to Natal. 
near Heidelberg. Their plan was to cutoff the English garrisons, and especially 
the road to Natal. The southern boundary was of no importance, the Orange 
Free State being neutral. 

The first victory was gained as early as the 20th of December 1880, at 
Bronkhorst Spruit, under Frans Joubert, when the English garrison at 
Lijdenburg attempted to join the troops stationed at Pretoria. 



xx INTRODUCTION. 

The British found themselves in an ugly position. It was not safe 
to withdraw troops from Cape Colony, on account of the disaffection 
which existed there, and the army at home was not ready, so they could 
count only on India for reinforcements. With a force consisting of 4,500 men, 
General Colley attempted to invade the Transvaal from Natal. He marched 
through the pass of Laing's Nek. A thousand Boers lay in ambush and 
defeated the British, inflicting severe losses, on the 28th of January 
1881. The English were again repulsed at Ingogo River. Without 
allowing himself to be discouraged, the general resolved to attack the Boer 
lager at Laing's Nek from Majuba Hill. The British succeeded in 
gaining the summit during the night of the 26th of February, 1881. 
of°the V BoVr9 ° ry When the sun rose, the Boers saw that they must either retreat under 
°r e L the t. B ^ ti , s , h the most difficult conditions, or storm the hill. They stormed. They climbed 

at Maiuba Hill : ' , .. J , J m 

1881. the three steep sides of the hill with surprising energy, and, inspired with 

a noble rage, fell upon the British division and drove it off with heavy losses. 
In all these encounters, the Boers seem to have had no artillery. Their 
never-failing rifles did all the work, and their losses were very small; 
but, in the measure as they were victorious, so were they also humble: 
their jubilations consisted of a fervent prayer of thanksgiving to the 
God of Battles, and their pity was expressed in their careful attention to 
the wounded of the enemy of their country. 

The victories gained by these death-defying farmers made an extraordinary 
impression in England. Public opinion became divided. One party insisted 
that a large army should be sent to punish the rebels; the other 
doubted if England would find it pay to continue the war. And Mr. Gladstone, 
the Prime Minister, had the courage to join the peace party. 

peace with En g - Ti ie treaty was signed on the 3rd of August 1881, and was called 

land ; Pretoria . J p _ lm 

convention: the Pretoria Convention. In this treaty, the Transvaal accepted the 
supremacy of England concerning all foreign relations, and agreed to the 
presence of an English resident in Pretoria, thereby acknowledging England's 
suzerainty. England on her side annulled the annexation of 1877 and 
declared the South African Republic to be absolutely free and independent 

Paul Kruger m } 10me affairs. The Triumvirate of Kruger, Joubert and Pretorius was 

chosen President „.. , . .. .. r> r» 1 t^- 

of the new free followed, ml883, by the presidency of Paul Kruger. 

Republic "T^. This treaty led to serious difficulties in the new Republic. Kruger, with 
Du Toit and Smit, went to London, at the end of 1883, to try to put matters 
on a right footing. They succeeded, on the 27th of February 1884, in 

London Con- concluding the London Convention, whereby England agreed that the 

vention annuls . ~ J o p . . 

the suzerainty: Republic should be bound to the consent of the Queen only in its treaties 
with foreign States. At the same time, England recalled her resident from 
Pretoria. The suzerainty was abolished. In return, the Republic agreed to 
a reconstruction of the boundary in the west in favour of England. By 
garrisoning Bechuanaland and the desert of Kalahari, England placed a 
w T edge between the possessions of Germany and the South African Republic. 
It was to England's interest to cut off the Boers from the sea on the east 
and from German South- West Africa in the west. 
Discovery of After the London Convention of 1884, the success of the Boer Republics 

v£-. d " fi ! lds in j seemed to be assured. And so it might have been, were Africa not the land 

Witwatersrand: • in • i n 

1886. Acause of of surprises. Sometime before attention had been called to traces of gold. In 
England™ 1 1886, the rich gold-fields of Witwatersrand were discovered, and it soon 



INTRODUCTION. xxi 

became evident that the Transvaal was the richest gold country in the world. 
With surprising rapidity, the gold fever spread among foreign invaders and 
attracted large numbers of Outlanders to the Transvaal. The English 
element was predominant, not so much on account of its numbers, as 
of its constant pretences to constitute itself the leading power in South 
Africa, thereby threatening Boer interests. 

The laws of the South African Republic were not prepared to grapple 
with this influx of exacting Outlanders of English extraction. To give 
them the franchise meant ruin. The authorities decided, in 1 89*3, that they 
should be granted full burgher rights only after a residence of fourteen 
years. By that time it was hoped to secure the exclusiveness of the 
Republic. Unfortunately, it had already been lost by other means: the railroads. 
In 1895, the line between Pretoria and Delagoa Bay was thrown open to 
traffic; other lines went before or followed it. Johannesburg became the most 
important city in South Africa and, at the same time, a centre of English interests. 

Cecil Rhodes, the son of a Hertfordshire clergyman, amalgamated the dia- 
mond quarries of Kimberley with the powerful De Beers Company in 1881. 
He had founded the Chartered Company in 1889 and taken possession of 
the land in the interior as far as the Equator. He rose to be Prime Minister 
of Cape Colony, and no doubt ambition whispered in his willing ear many a 
fanciful dream of a country stretching from the mouth of the Nile to the 
Cape, where his influence would be paramount, and where the fabulous riches 
of the land would be under his control. Already he was lord and master 
of the Kimberley diamond quarries. Why should not the gold of Witwaters- 
rand, together with Johannesburg, be brought under his, and therefore 
under England's, dominion? All that was necessary was to tell abundant 
lies about the Boers; to represent them as hindering technical and 
industrial progress; and to surprise the world with an accomplished fact, 
a i-onji d'Etat in the mining interest. 

The Chartered Company had a force of its own in the territories north ^SuitaM the 
and west of the Transvaal. At Christmas 1895, Cecil Rhodes assembled Jameson Raid; it 
800 of these men under Dr. Jameson at Mafeking, for an invasion into m 
the Transvaal in the direction of Johannesburg, where a number of 
conspirators, who had secretly armed, were to join and assist in the 
downfall of the Republic, But the wary Boers were ready for them. 
They waylaid the freebooters at Krugersdorp and forced them to surrender 
unconditionally in the first days of January 1896. President Kruger showed 
a noble clemency in merely handing the peace-breakers over to England. 
However a different view was taken of this affair in England. Public 
opinion ranged itself without reservation on the side of the men who, 
it was said, were ready to do and dare for the honour of England, for 
the expansion of British supremacy, and for the opening up of new 
sources of wealth, as other daring Englishmen had done before them in 
various parts of the world, especially in India. At the head of the 
war party was Mr. Chamberlain, the Colonial Minister. The reasoning intrigue* a^inst 
powers of England has lost their sense of proportion. Arguing from the Transvaal - 
their easy victories over a few coloured races, they concluded that the 
oppression of the Boer would be an equally easy matter. They lived to 
learn their mistake. 

After the Jameson Raid , the intrigues of the Outlanders became 



xxii INTRODUCTION. 

even more formidable. The South African League was founded and 
agitation kept alive by English capitalists and newspapers. Besides, all 
sorts of complaints were lodged with the Transvaal Government and 
disseminated by Mr. Chamberlain: complaints against the railway tariff; 
the dynamite concession; the liquor laws with regard to natives; the pass 
law; gold robberies; insecurity of life and property, and so forth. The 
universal cure for all these grievances was to be found in full burgher 
rights for the Outlanders. Mr. Chamberlain became the very willing medium 
of all these complaints, sent note after note complaining that the internal 
administration of the Transvaal was not in accordance with the Convention 
of 1884, and insisted on its being altered. 

The Boers were warned; they knew what must follow. They prepared 

themselves for a serious emergency, and collected arms and ammunition. 

Cape Colony possessed in Lord, then Sir Alfred, Milner a High Commissioner 

after the heart of Mr. Chamberlain and the English Imperialists. In 

FruitiessConfer- j une j 899, he met President Kruger in Bloemfontein in order to demand 

ence at Bloeiu- 1 • m 

fontein between full burgher rights for all Outlanders in the Transvaal after five 
Milne 6 /: * M9. years' residence. This concession , if it were made, would create a 
serious danger to the safety of the Republic, which was increased by 
the fact that the British Outlanders, and especially the inhabitants of Jo- 
hannesburg, had petitioned the Queen for full burgher rights in the 
South African Republic. Kruger was quite ready to meet the concessionists, 
as far as was consistent with the interests of his country. Every 
Outlander in Johannesburg, without being naturalized, was granted an 
immediate vote for the Town Council. After two years' residence, he could, 
if he chose, become naturalized, when he would receive his vote for the 
Second Volksraad, to w T hose jurisdiction the mining, postal, telegraph and 
traffic interests were subject. Twelve years' residence after naturalization 
gave him full burgher rights, including a vote for the First Volksraad, 
election of President, etc. These twelve years were, in 1899, reduced to 
five, which, added to the two previous years of residence before 
naturalization, made seven years, instead of fourteen as formerly. 
However, the English Government insisted on five years. Following on this, 
Mr. Chamberlain formulated a new demand, namely England's right of 
suzerainty, which had been anulled in 1884. 
tum* 6 " October When the Boers realized that they had to deal not with just , but 

1899 - with arbitrary demands, their long-suffering patience was at last exhausted, 

especially as their ultimatum, concerning the withdrawal of reinforcements 
Commencement from the borders, had been contemptuously ignored in London. During the 
Natai°? iioc- m evening of the 11th of October 1899, the Boers crossed the frontier of 
tober 1899. Natal: those men of steel, whose duty it was to show that they were 
worthy descendants of their heroic fathers; that the hard school of invigorating 
danger and purifying fire through which they had passed had sown 
and fostered in them that spirit of unquenchable independence which 
only death itself could subdue. 



CONTENTS. 



l'age 

I. If your Queen only knew 3 

II. Manners and Character of the Boers 7 

III. The Boer in War 23 

IV. Com Paul and Tante Sauna 37 

The Transvaal National Anthem 44 

V. President M. T. Steijn 51 

The Orange Free State National A nth em 54 

VI. Dr. W. J. Leyds 61 

VII. A. D. W. Wolmarans 67 

VIII. Cornells Wessels 73 

IX. Ahraham Fischer 77 

X. Schalk Willem Burger 81 

XI. F. W. Reitz 87 

XII. The late Commandant General P. J. Jouhert ... 95 

XIII. General P. A. Cronje" 105 

XIV. Commandant General Louis Botha 115 

XV. Chief Commandant General Christian De Wet 129 

XVI. General J. H. De la Rey 141 

XVII. General Ben Viljoen 149 

XVIII. The late Captain Danie Theron 155 

XIX. Judge J. B. M. Hertzog 163 

XX. J. C. Smuts 167 

XXI. The three best-known Commanders in the Colony: General S. G. Maritz, 

the late Commandant G. J. Scheepers, General G. H. Kretzinger . . 172 

XXII. South African Wives and Daughters 179 

Index of Places 189 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

I. 

FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS. 



1. Presidents S. J. P. Kruger and M. T. Steijn Frontispiece 

To face 
page 

2. Views of Zoutpansberg 3 

3. The Conference of Teachers of the South- African Kepublic: July 1897 ... 7 

4. A Boer School at Visschershoek 12 

5. A Boer School at Schietfontein 14 

6. Inspection of a Boer Commando 23 

7. The German Corps before the Battle of Elandslaagte 24 

8. A Commando bound for Colenso crossing the Klip River 28 

9. Boers in fighting line 32 

10. President Kruger and Mrs. Kruger 37 

11. Views of Heidelberg 38 

12. President Kruger and President Steijn addressing the Boers in the Market Hall 

at Kroonstad 4U 

13. Coins of the South African Republic 46 

14. President M. T. Steijn 51 

15. Views of Bloemfontein 52 

16. President Steijn in the Laager before Ladysmith 56 

17. Dr. W. J. Leyds 61 

18. Mr. A. D. W. Wolmarans 67 

19. Mr. C. Wessels 73 

20. The Wessels Family 75 

21. Mr. A. Fischer . 77 

22. Mr. Schalk Willem Burger 81 

23. Views of Lijdenburg 82 

24. Mr. F. W. Reitz 87 

25. Mr. L. J. S. Malan 89 

26. The late Commandant General P. J. Joubert 95 

27. General Joubert at Breakfast in Laager before Ladysmith . . 96 



xxvi LIST OF [ILLUSTRATIONS. 

1 o liter 

page 

28 Bursting of the Dam of the Klip River near Ladysmith . 100 

29. General P. A. Cronj^ 105 

80. The late Colonel Comte de Villebois-Mareuil 107 

31. General Cronje* before Kimberley 108 

32. Burghers crossing the Vaal River 110 

33. Commandant General Louis Botha 115 

34. Commandant General Louis Botha and his Staff at Colenso . . 116 

85. Boers Outposts near Colenso, on the Tugela River 119 

36. The Heroes of Spion Kop 122 

37. Outposts of Boers at van Reenen's pass 124 

38. Chief Commandant General Christian De Wet 129 

39. Commandant J. H. Olivier 133 

40. Heliograph Corps of the South African Republic and Field Battery at Colesberg 134 

41. General J. H. De la Rey 141 

42. Major Albrecht 145 

43. General Ben Viljoen 149 

44. The late Captain Danie Theron 155 

45. Danie Theron's Scouts on the Look-out 156 

46. Judge J. B M. Hertzog 163 

47. State-Attorney J. C. Smuts 167 

48. Views of Cape Town 168 

49. General S. G. Maritz 173 

50. Maritz' Scouts on the Look-out .... 174 

51. A typical Boer Girl 179 

52. General W. Kolbe 181 

53. Mrs. Louis Botha 182 



II 



ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT. 

Page 

1. An Ambulance Train 5 

2. An old Boer Homestead in the Interior of the Transvaal 8 

3. Boer Travelling Waggons 9 

4. A typical Transvaal Boer 10 

5. Kroonstad and views of the Valsch River 11 

6. Central Hall of the State Museum at Pretoria ' 16 

7. The new Building of the State Girls' School at Pretoria 17 

8. Front view of the State Gymnasium at Pretoria 18 

9. The Class Room for free-hand drawing in the State Gymnasium at Pretoria . . 19 

10. A Private House at Pretoria 20 

11. A Private House at Pretoria 20 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. xxvii 

12. A typical Boer family .21 

13. Colonel A. H. Schiel 24 

14. Arrival of a Transport at Elandslaagte .... .24 

15. Gunners of the Transvaal State Artillery 26 

16. Glimpses of Boer Camp Life: Arrival of Supplies 

17. Glimpses of Boer Camp Life: Receipt of Intelligence 30 

18. Glimpses of Boer Camp Life: Resting ... ;i 

19. Glimpses of Boer Camp Life: A Field Cornet's Tent . . 32 

20. Three Generations at the War :;., 

21. Paardekraal, near Krugersdorp . [2 

22. The Paardekraal Monument 43 

23. President Kruger on the Verandah of his Bouse, at Pretoria . . 48 

24. The Doppers Church at Pretoria 49 

25. President Steijn exhorting his Burghers at Smaldeel ... .58 

26. Commandant P. Fourie 59 

27. The Government Buildings at Pretoria 62 

28. Law Courts at Pretoria 63 

29. Daspoort near Pretoria 64 

30. The New Arcadia Bridge at Pretoria . . 65 

31. Loading up Ammunition for the Transvaal Artillery 68 

32. Schalk Willem Burger . 69 

33. Departure of the Hollander Corps from Pretoria: 6 Octoher 1899 70 

34. Church Square at Pretoria 71 

35. A destroyed Boer Farm T'.t 

36. The late General Kock with his Staff at Elandslaagte 84 

37. General Tobias Smuts , 85 

38. Departure of the German Commando from Pretoria 90 

39. Burgomaster Schutte of Johannesburg witnessing the Departure of the Burglar-: 

4 November 1899 91 

40. The Johannesburg Police off to the Front: 26 October 1899 92 

41. Transvaal Howitzer made at Pretoria 93 

42. General Joubert in his Tent before Ladysmith 98 

43. Krupp Howitzers at work on the Platrand 99 

44. The Artillery Barracks at Pretoria 100 

45. Camp of the Field Telegraph Corps of the Transvaal Artillery 102 

46. Rocket Signals 103 

47. The restored Long Tom 107 

48. English Prisoners of War from Paardeuberg 110 

49. Transvaal Artillery Park 112 

50. Glimpses of Boer Camp Life: Preparing Dinner LIS 

51. The late General Lucas Mcijer 116 

52. The Railway Bridge at Waschbank blown up with Dynamite 119 

53. Another View of the Same .119 

54. The late General Christian Botha 120 

55. The Tugela Railway Bridge at Colenso destroyed: 16 November 1899 120 

56. Boer Artillery engaged at Modderspruit (Nicholson's Nek) 121 

57. Boer Artillery in action at Colenso: 15 December 1899 122 

58. Viaduct in the Biggarsberg (Natal) wrecked by the Boers 124 

59. The Railway Bridge over the Sunday River (Natal) repaired by the Transvaalers 124 

60. General O. L. Beijers 126 



xxviii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

I'age 

61. Conference of Lord Kitchener and Louis Botha at Middelburg: 28 February 1900 126 

62. Commandant General Louis Botha on horseback 127 

63. The last Council of War near Bloemfontein 130 

64. Armstrong Gun captured at Stormberg 133 

65. Part of the destroyed Bridge over the Vet River .... 136 

66. Another View of the Same 137 

67. General De Wet, his secretary, some commandants and others at Potchefstroom 138 

68. Military Attache's and their Adjudant, Mr. Fischer 139 

69. Armoured Train captured at Kraaipan, 12 October 1899 .... .... 142 

70. Transvaal Artillery with Howitzers at the Siege of Mafeking 143 

71. Boer fort before Mafeking 145 

72. General J. Kemp 147 

73. Battle on the Tugela. Defence of Vaalkrans: 5 February 1900 150 

74. Transvaal Mauser Bandoleer Waistcoat 151 

75. Group of Boer Commandants an the Klip River, near Johannesburg .... 152 

76. Ben Viljoen's Headquarters 153 

77. Boer Cyclist 156 

78. Tunnel near Laing's Nek wrecked by the Boers: South View 158 

79. The Same: North View 159 

80. Danie Theron's Scouts: At Dinner 160 

81. Danie Theron's Scouts: Resting 161 

82. Transvaal Maxim Gun 165 

83. Commandant Fouche" of the Colony 171 

84. The late Commandant G. J. Scheepers 176 

85. General G. H. Kretzinger 177 

86. A Transvaal Ambulance 182 

87 and 88. Mrs. Berrett 184 

89. The Father and the Bridegroom leaving for the War 185 

90. Mrs. Lucas Meyer 186 

91. The Family of General De Wet held as prisoners of war at Johannesburg . . 188 



MAPS. 

Maps of the Theatre of War: 

1. The Cape Colony. 

2. The late South African Republic and Orange Free State ... At end of book 






' '-'/'': T ' : Mi 




70UTPANSBERG, IN THE EXTREME NORTH OP THE TRANSVAAL. 1. A view of 
Fort Hendrfna so-called after the wife of General Joubert, and tall* to res tram Maga os 
turbulent tribe of Kaffirs. Magato has now been dead some years, and on the occasion of 
the £s "expedition against his son, M'pefu, in 1898, the latter fled to R hoc esia. J and ^ Two 
photographs showing a missionary station in the midst of this wild re won. Z outpansberg 
is destined to become the granary of the Transvaal : it is an eminently fertile distnct. 



HEROES OF THE BOER AVAR, 



CHAPTER I. 



"IF YOUR QUEEN ONLY KNEW . 



A T Bloemfontein, a Canadian officer 
^* told me of one of his experiences 
in the war. A collision had taken 
place, in the Ladybrand District, with 
a small Boer force, which, after a tough 
contest, had been compelled to fall back 
before superior numbers. The order 
was given to burn down the house in the 
neighbourhood of which the short fight 
had taken place. The mounted in- 
fantry trotted up to the house and 
surrounded it, while the officer of the 
patrol dismounted and knocked at the 
door. A young married woman opened 
it and appeared on the threshold with 
a child in her arms. The general's 
orders were repeated to her, and the 
customary short interval was given her 
to remove some small portion of her 
belongings to a place of safety. At 
first, the Africander was silent, appar- 
ently not at once grasping the meaning 
of the unexpected communication. It 
is true, she had heard the firing, but 
the fighting had taken place far from 
her house. She wished to know why 
her home was to be destroyed, and what 
was to become of her; the officer was 
only able to shrug his shoulders and 



reply that he must execute the orders 
of his superior. The woman grew 
excited and defended her rights, her 
hearth and home in a tremor of vehe- 
ment and passionate words. But at 
last she saw that she must bow before 
savage force, and, with the words well- 
ing up from the innermost recesses of 
her heart, she cried, full of passionate 
conviction: 

"Ah, if your Queen only knew what 

was going on here if your Queen 

only knew!" 

That belief, that sympathetic belief 
among the Africanders that all would 
be different if Queen Victoria only 
knew of the struggle and suffering in 
South Africa was made manifest to me 
time after time during the war. Every 
man, woman and child respected the 
old, grey Sovereign and placed a firm 
and unshakable reliance in her sense 
of justice. No disappointments, do 
cruelties or acts of injustice committed 
in her name could destroy that belief. 
Far above their hatred for the Rand 
capitalists remained their belief in her 
whom they regarded as the lofty in- 
carnation of the British sense of fairness. 



IIKlinKS OK TIIK MORI! WAR. 



When the war was fatally approach- 
ing, but one hope remained to the 
A fricanders: the Queen; and, starting 
from Cape Town, a woman's movement 
spread over all South Africa. As women, 
they wanted to address the Gracious 
Lady in England , to speak of the 
suffering which would fall upon mothers 
and children, to appeal to her sense 
of pity and justice. Rapidly, enthusiastic- 
ally, with a recrudescence of trust in 
the future, the petitions were signed. 
Even many men saw safety in the 
movement, encouraged their wives to 
take part in it, and thousands of signa- 
tures were collected. 

At the same time, the late General 
Joubert, Vice-President of the Trans- 
vaal, wrote his well-known open letter 
to the Queen of England. To her, the 
highest, he carried his plaint for his 
people which was being wronged; to her 
he wished to depict the land in ashes 
and ruins, the Africanders in mourning 
and tears. And he, the man who had 
suffered, with his people, the perse- 
cution of British ministers, believed, 
as those women believed, that his last 
appeal to the highest authority would 
find a hearing in the royal palace. And 
the words came straight from his 
heart: 

"It has perhaps never been brought 
to Your Majesty's notice why these 
people could not live peacefully in their 
land of adoption and birth." 

He felt that this must be so. She, 
the noble Queen, could not have known of 
all the suffering of the Africanders, 
else she would never have permitted it; 
and the enthusiasm of his letter sounded 
powerfully and ferventl}': 

"No, Your Majesty! Ever in sup- 
plication to the Almighty, Who ruleth 
over Kings and Princes, and inclineth 
all to His great will, 1, Your Majesty's 
humble petitioner, will never believe 
that Your Majesty will suffer the sacred 
rights of a weak, peace-loving people to 
be violated in your name, and South 



Africa to be cast into grief and mourn- 
ing." 

A few weeks later, one Sunday, it 
was rumoured at Pretoria that Queen 
Victoria was for peace. There were 
numbers w r ho believed it at once, and 
great joy arose. Many declared that 
they had expected nothing else: "If the 
Queen only knew." But tha next day 
the papers appeared with long telegrams 
announcing new dispatches of troops 
to South Africa, foreshadowing new 
demands to which it would be impossible 
to assent. 

All further hopes of better things 
were vain. The storm-clouds gathered 
ominously: no ray of light remained. 
Hatred and bitterness blazed out anew 
against Milner, Chamberlain, Rhodes and 
the many others who were bent upon 
the death of African liberty. Still, the 
idea remained unsullied which the 
Afrikanders had formed of Queen 
Victoria. The women's petition had 
not been laid before her, Joubert's 
open letter neither: thus argued the 
many. "If the Queen only knew," she 
would not have shown herself unrelent- 
ing. Of course, there were others who 
reasoned more clearly, who strove to 
explain that Queen Victoria was above 
all things a constitutional monarch and 
had to bow before the will of the 
people's representatives. But those 
others were rarely in the majority. 

Slowly, bitterly, cruelly, the opinion 
of the minority became that of the 
whole nation ; the savage warfare opened 
all eyes to the horrible truth. But 
every Africander, man or woman alike, 
retained the conviction that England's 
Queen did not approve of the war and 
would certainly not have approved of 
its conduct, "if the Queen only knew." 

I have often tried to discover their 
grounds for this belief; I have repeat- 
edly held long conversations with Boers 
and Boer women on the subject; but 
I have never been able to discover the 
cause. Call it childish, if you will, call 



"IF YOUR QUEEN ONLY KNEW 



it foolish: yet there was something noble, 
something sympathetic in that conviction. 

There was a pleasant familiarity, a 
childlike truthfulness in the way in 
which the Boers and their wives always 
spoke of the "Old Woman." The words, 
written down in cold blood, may appear 
disrespectful when applied to a queen- 
empress; many may think that they 
perceive some intention of sneering at 
the late Queen and her sreat age. 
But you must have heard the tone 
in which the words were uttered in 
order to be able to judge of the 
meaning. 

Besides, a sneer of that sort is 
foreign to the Boer's nature; he 
entertains too sacred a respect for women, 
a respect which certainly does not de- 
crease with the ascent of years. The 
cause of this probably lies in the 
Huguenot strain in his blood, of which 



the chivalry has been preserved 1>\ the 
Boer in so many noteworthy ways. And 
on this basis it was easy to lead the 
respect for the Queen of England to 
the childlike ideal standpoint which it 
occupied among the Africanders. 

The Volksraad, in spite of all the 
complications with England, would never 
have thought of omitting to adjourn 
on the 24th of May. That homage was 
due to the aged Sovereign; even though 
the whole of England had turned against 
the Boers, they would not have deprived 
her of this significant homage , the 
homage which concerned her person, 
venerable in its grey old age. That 
was why the Volksraad adjourned on 
the 24th of May 1899, on the eve of 
the Bloemfontein Conference, and that 
was why everyone thought the adjourn- 
ment the most natural thing on earth: 

"If the Queen only knew!" 




ONE OF THE NETHERLANDS SOUTH AFRICAN KAILWA 1 ! COMPANY'S TEAINS TEAN£ 
FORMED INTO AN AMBULANCE-TRAIN. At the commencement ol the wax, the Nether- 
lands South African Railway fitted up several railway-carriages for the conveyance of the 
wounded with beds, drug-stores, and compartments for re-dl 'easing wounds. The last carriage 
in particular, the large white ambulance-carriage, was a maBter-piece that did great credit to 
the ingenuity of the railway-officials at l'rrtoria. 



CHAPTER II. 



MANNERS AND CHARACTER OF THE BOERS. 



SHORTLY after the outbreak of the 
^ war , a lady of Africander birth 
found herself in English company. 
Motives of human curiosity prompted 
a circle of well-bred Englishwomen to 
form around her. An older lady, 
hearing of this strange event, hurried 
up, as fast as her dignity would permit 
her , to gaze upon the marvel. No 
sooner had she received a reply to her 
eager "Where is she?" than she ex- 
claimed: 

"But she's not a Boer ; she's not 
black r 

And no one laughed but the Afri- 
cander herself. A similar thought had 
clearly occurred to all the rest. 

A non-commissioned officer of the 
Black Watch, the regiment which, at 
Magersfontein, on the 11th of December 
1899, so heroically and undauntedly 
marched to certain death, was taken 
up by the Boer ambulance and carried 
to the field-hospital. The surgeon had 
noticed that, during the progress 
through the laager, the Highlander had 



opened wide eyes each time a Boer 
passed, on horseback or on foot, with 
a polite "Good- day, doctor." So soon 
as the man was comfortably in bed 
and well cared-for, the surgeon asked 
him the cause of his unconcealed sur- 
prise, and was told that the soldier had 
heard that the Boers were little stunted 
men, who lived in caves and wore long 
hair. It was the doctor's turn to be 
surprised, and his amazement in no 
way yielded to that of his patient. 

During a sortie of the Ladysmith 
garrison, a number of soldiers fell into 
the hands of the Boers, who, as always, 
treated them very humanely. The 
majority of the prisoners, slow to 
accept the inevitable, sulked and stood 
aloof. One of them, however, kept up 
a lively conversation with his guards. 
Suddenly he asked: 

"But where are the liners now?" 

"I am a Boer,'' was the answer. 

This Tommy refused to believe. A 
man who talked English and who was 
dressed like everyone else could not be 

3* 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 




AN OLD BOER HOMESTEAD IN THE INTERIOR OF THE TRANSVAAL. 



a Boer; and, when at last he was no 
longer able to doubt the man's truth- 
fulness, he exclaimed: 

u But you're not a barbarian, you're 
quite an Englishman!" 

History does not relate that the Boer 
took this as a compliment at that given 
moment. 



A whole series of humorous in- 
stances might be quoted to show the 
terrible misconception that prevailed 
among the English touching the South 
African Boers, and that, which is worse, 
still exists. People seem unable to 
comprehend the real nature and character 
of the Transvaaler and Free Stater. 
They seem unable to get away from 
the meaning attached to the Dutch 
word Boeren, and though the French- 
man writes Boers, the German Buren 
and the Englishman Boers, they all 
continue to seek for some connection 
between the Boeren and the paysans, 



Bauern and peasants. The Boeren 
is the name of the Africander people, 
including those who do not practise 
husbandry. Men like Louis and Christian 
Botha, De la Rey, De Wet and Hertzog 
are proud to call themselves Boers, just 
as Presidents Steijn and Kruger take 
pride in being so styled. 

They are a handsome, sturdy race. 
The men are tall and broad-shouldered. 
Their features are often clean-cut, noble 
and impressive and point in this distant 
generation to its descent from the best 
Huguenot families. Their hands are 
small and. well-formed, their feet are 
shapely. Their whole appearance is at 
once impressive and sympathetic. 

The Boer holds women in the 
highest respect , is always eager to 
show them every civility and ready 
to defend them against insult: and this 
from sheer chivalry, and not from love 
of fighting. 

At home he leads a placid, calm 
and peaceful life. When, at five o'clock 



MANNERS AND CHARACTER OF THE BOERS. 



in the morning, the daylight swiftly 
spreads over the open veldt and across 
the firmament, he is already out of bed, 
standing under his verandah, his trusty 
pipe in his mouth. Slowly he walks 
to the cattle-kraal and gives his in- 
structions to the Kaffirs , who will 
presently drive the animals on to the 
veldt. He gives an eye to the pre- 
parations, has a look round the stud- 
farm and inspects the kitchen-garden. 
It is breakfast- time: till then he has 
only had a cup ot hot coffee. The 
whole family sit down to breakfast, and, 
when the meal is over, there is work 
for all. There is butter or cheese to 
make, darning- work to do, soap to be 
prepared , an ox or sheep to. kill , or 
meat to be salted or dried. 

There are few things that the Boer 
requires which he is not able to make 
himself. Even his shoes are constructed 
out of leather which he himself has 
tanned. He dries and cuts his own 



tobacco; and the stables and cattle- 
kraals on his farm are erected under 
his personal supervision. There is no 
lack of work, therefore, at least in the 
morning. 

In the afternoon, usually, the distant 
rattle of wheels, or the clatter of horses' 
hoofs, announces a visit. The family 
come outside and peer in the direction 
whence the sound comes. The speck 
on the horizon is sufficient to tell the 
Boer which of his neighbours is 
approaching. His sharp eyes at once 
recognize the horse or horses, for he is 
familiar with the appearance of all the 
beasts of draught or burden in the 
neighbourhood. Should the animals be 
unknown to him, then he watches with 
but the greater interest for the approach 
of the stranger. 

For none who rides towards a Boer 
dwelling will easily pass by without 
alighting: he knows that he is welcome 
and that he will please the people by 




BOER TRAVELLING WAGGONS. Harnessed with many oven — a full team 
sixteen — the Boer waggon goes slowly, growling, creaking and jolting over the uneven n 
At night it shelters the whole family. The Kaffirs sleep underneath, at Least at the boors 
during which the oxen rest, for the journey is made for the most part at night: in the 
glowing heat of the day-time, the yoke scorches the hide from the oxen's necks. Tin- 
household carries all cooking necessaries in the waggon, ami. when moving, even tin- 
domestic furniture. 



10 



HEROES OF THE BOEE WAR. 



entering. The housewife at once offers 
him a cup of coffee, and the husband 
hands him his tobacco-pouch. Should 
the visitor stay longer, or ask for hos- 
pitality for the night, which is hardly 
ever refused, the Boer goes outside and 
himself sees that the horses are pro- 
perly tended. The best of everything 
is set before the guest, the best bed-room 
is allotted to him , and everything is 
done to make his stay under the hos- 
pitable roof as pleasant as possible. 
And, in the morning, when he departs 
and his horses have had their fill of 
food , he owes his host nothing but 
thanks. The Boer will accept no money, 
and, when the stranger takes his leave, 
the whole family come out and shake 
his hand as though he were an old 
and tried friend. That is South African 
hospitality. 




A TYPICAL TRANSVAAL DOER. 



If the guest is an European and 
gifted with powers of observation, it is 
to be hoped that he has not neglected 
to talk at length with the Boer. The 
head of the house is fond of a chat 
and will try to make his visitor feel at 
home. National politics are a subject 
on which the Boer is particularly well- 
informed. He studies his political 
newspapers with an eagerness which 
makes it a pleasure for the editors to 
write for him. No neighbour can make 
a call but politics become the first 
and foremost subject of conversation. 
And in the higher politics, too, events 
do not escape him, even though he be 
not always quite up to date. 

Should the European prove to be 
a well-educated man, who does not in- 
sist too much upon his knowledge , a 
proceeding which invariably puts the 
Boer off, the latter will 
turn the occasion to account 
to gain information on 
matters which were not 
quite clear to him. 

I myself have often 
been asked questions by 
Boers which struck me as 
a proof of their desire for 
information : 

"See , now you're a 
Hollander, now you must 
tell me a bit: how do they 
mean to drain the Zuider 
Zee?" was a question once 
put to me by a transport- 
rider on a subject touching 
my mother country. 

In the course of con- 
versation, it appeared that, 
years ago, the man had read 
of this plan in a paper. 
He had retained the subject 
in his memory until he 
should come into contact 
with a Netherlander. Indeed, 
it gradually became manifest 
to me that the Boer had read 
the article with great care, 



MANNERS AND UIAKAl TKi; OF THE BOERS 




and had employed his brains upon it. 
The questions he put to me gave evi- 
dence of the correctness of his judg- 
ment. I was then struck with the Boer's 
great common-sense. Later, on com- 
mando, when I came more closely into 
contact with Transvaalers or Free 
Staters, I noticed that they all possessed 



this quality: and I observed that the] 
always sought the company of men 
from whom they could learn something, 
and that they would sit listening with 
eager ears to the words of such men, 
interrupting them from time to time 
with pithy comments. 

The old Boers, the Takharen or 



12 



HEROES OF THE Ho Kit WAR. 



Tanglehairs, us they are called in South 
Africa, because of their shaggy and 
neglected manes, used in old days to 
teach their children by candle-light, in 
the evening, to read and write, with 
the aid of the Bible, which no house- 
hold is without. This was good enough 
for the old times. Before the war 
broke out, however, no large Boer 
homestead but had its teacher, and, 
where the Africanders were too poor 
to allow themselves the exclusive luxury 
of a tutor for their own children, they 
sent them to the national schools, 
which enjoyed a State subsidy and 
provided an excellent education, or else 
had them educated by travelling teachers. 
In 1898, the South African Re- 
public, with her few hundred thousand 



inhabitants, spent ,£226,416 4*. 8(/. on 
educational purposes, and the attendance 
at the schools increased by 13,900 
children between 1882 and 1898: a 
convincing proof that the Boer is alive 
to the value of good instruction. 1 

In general the Boer remains true 
to the simple traditions of his fathers. 
On Sunday, the Lord's Day, the day of 
rest, the Boer and his family and all 
the volk — the Africander expression 
for the Kaffirs of the homestead — 
meet in the great dining and reception 
room The Boer and the members of 
the family occupy the chairs and the 
natives squat respectfully on the floor, 
close together , against the wall. The 
old family Bible is laid on the table 
in front of the head of the house. 



1 When the schools of a State are in 
a flourishing condition, that State has reason 
to be proud of its intellectual development, 
and not even her most prejudiced detractors 
dared to accuse the South African Republic 
of vandalism, when it was once an establish- 
ed fact that she had obtained the highest 
possible distinction (Grand prix) at the Paris 
Exhibition of 1900 for elementary, as well 
as secondary and advanced education. We 
must look into the school statutes, Article 8, 
dating from 1892, which remained in operation 
until the commencement of the war, to learn 
how this success was obtained by a young 
and thinly-populated State. It laid special 
emphasis on the duties of parents towards 
their children regarding education, while 
the State was, first, to encourage the burghers 
in willing co-operation and private initiative, 
and, when necessary, to give them every assis- 
tance; secondly, to exercise supervision 
over the subsidized schools by watching the 
religious and secular training of the future 
burghers, as far as might seem advisable 
to the Government; thirdly, to found an 
institution for the higher branches of edu- 
cation, for the instruction of those who 
wished to become teachers, or were desirous 
of filling official posts. 

The Government was exceedingly generous 
in the encouragement of these semi-self- 
supporting establishments, due to the ini- 
tiative of the individual. It voted considerable 
grants for all sorts of practical purposes, 
such as assisting in the founding and equip- 
ment of school-buildings and houses for the 
teachers; paying the travelling expenses of 



those teachers coming from abroad; granting 
money rewards for special successes obtained 
in schools or classes at the yearly examina- 
tions; giving prizes for good school-books 
and school competitions; assisting every 
child over six who had attended a recog- 
nized school on so many days during the 
month; and helping to start village libraries. 
At Pretoria, the Government supported a 
State library, a State museum and the 
Zoological Gardens, and always had an 
open hand for the needs of children of 
poor parents. Special attention is to be 
drawn to the fact that Government was 
authorized in lb96 (Article 15) to build 
schools in the Gold Fields, wherever it seem- 
ed necessary and advisable, such buildings 
to be erected at the expense of the State; 
and to nominate and pay instructors, as 
iu other State-supported schools. In these 
State schools of the Gold Fields, the children 
of Outlanders could receive instruction in 
their own language for a small extra charge, 
and it was decided in these cases to intro- 
duce the Dutch official language only very 
gradually, so as not to interfere with the 
steady progress and development of these 
Outlatider pupils. 

The Government showed the same con- 
scientiousness with regard to the supervision 
of schools. Six inspectors, chosen from 
among the teachers as the most efficient, 
went on their appointed circuits during the 
year, examining the pupils in all branches, 
appointing the standard and, in this way, 
not only superintending the work of the 
teachers, but also giving valuable advice 



14 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



This Bible is dear to him. He has 
learnt to read and write out of it, 
and in hard times the Sacred Book has 
brought him consolation and renewed 
courage. 

Opening the Bible with every mark 
of respect, he reads a chapter simply 
and with evident conviction, and then 
offers up a prayer. Generally, one or two 
psalms are next sung to the accompani- 
ment of a seraphine organ , which al- 
most every household possesses. This 



is the simple Sunday observance in 
the country, and it will be seen from 
this that the attitude of the Boers 
towards the natives is not exactly what 
it is represented to be by some writers. 
The Boer allots to the Kaffirs who 
work on his farm a pntch of ground 
on which the natives erect their clay 
rondafel. This is a hut with a flat 
thatched roof, and of circular shape, 
deriving its name from ronde tafel, 
or round table. Here the native lives 



to them, as well as to the school authorities, 
where such was required. In the outlying 
districts, where there were as yet no schools, 
they did all in their power to stimulate 
the inhabitants to start them; and, as a 
rule, the visits of the school inspectors were 
looked forward to with pleasure, for the 
Boers began to show a growing interest in, 
and desire for, education. 

With regard to the third object in 
view, the founding of an institute for higher 
education, the Government, with the sanction 
of the First Volksraad, went even further 
than their original proposals. Not only 
did they, in 1893, build a "State gymnasium" 
or college at Pretoria, containing both gym- 
nasium and High School, where the results 
of the first final examination, held in 1898, 
gave absolute satisfaction to the Govern- 
ment delegates, but they added a "State 
Model School" and, in connection with 
this, a "Normal Training College," for those 
who wished to become teachers, and a State- 
supported girls' school, which also very 
shortly had a "Normal Training College" and 
High School added to it If it had not been 
for the war, the School of Mines, which was 
founded at the commencement of the year 
1897, would have developed into an edu- 
cational centre whose success was assured. 
Students, before entering, were to pass 
through the high school connected with 
the gymnasium A deaf-and-dumb and 
blind asylum was to have been founded 
when the number of afflicted children in 
the South African Republic demanded it; 
until then the deaf-and-dumb and blind 
were sent to Worcester, in Cape Colony, 
if the parents wished it, partly or entirely, 
as the case might demand, at the expense 
of the State. 

The founding of these so-called State 
schools caused some divergence from the 
principle of private initiative; but the State 
confined itself to a small number of edu- 
cational institutions, which were in reality 



centres for advanced education and served 
as models for other schools. Besides, it 
became necessary to put an end to the 
unjust accusations of negligence towards 
the Outlander children and to give the 
well-intentioned Outlanders an opportunity 
to have their children taught the national 
language by degrees, without interfering 
with the steady progress of education in 
their native tongue. 

The expenses incurred by the Ad- 
ministration for Education, including staff, 
inspectors, etc., amounted, during the vear 
1898, to #226,416. This sum, voted' ex- 
clusively for the purpose of education, 
proves the importance attached by the South 
African Republic to a sound national 
education. 

We will now add some general infor- 
mation concerning facts which may interest 
the reader. 

The majority of schools are situated 
on rivers, or streams which flow into those 
rivers. 

Non-attendance in either town or village 
schools was not frequent (only 15 per cent), 
and rarer still (9 per cent) in the peasant 
schools, that is, in those schools which were 
held on the farms. Compared with the 
statistics of schools in other countries, this 
is very remarkable, considering the diffi- 
culties with which the Boers had to contend 
in sending their children to school, such as 
the scarcity of labourers, locusts, unfordable 
rivers, etc. 

Attached to the State school for girls 
was a boarding-house, where those coming 
from the country might be lodged and 
boarded at a moderate charge. 

At a similar economical rate, students 
attending the State gymnasium and model 
school were received in houses provided 
by the State and controlled by competent 
masters. 

The buildings of the State gymnasium 
and School of Mines contained large lecture 



16 



HEEOES OF THK BOEK WAR. 




CENTRAL HALL UK THE STATE MUSEUM AT PKETOKIA. On account ol the war, it 
was found impossible to complete the building, although the work was never entirely dis- 
continued. 



with his wife and children. He saves 
the wages which he earns from the 
Boer until he is able to buy a horse 
or a piece of cattle, and slowly his 
property increases. When there is no 
work to be done for the Boer, he works 
on his allotment. His wife and children 
help the Boer's wife with the house- 
keeping, and, when the children grow 
big enough, they work with the others 
in the fields, or in minding the cattle. 
The Kaffir's cattle are allowed to graze 
on the Boer's pastures, and the herd 



has to be pretty large before the Boer 
thinks of charging his roll- any hire. 

So soon as the Boer's youngest 
child is able to walk, it receives a 
little Kaffir mite as a play-fellow. The 
piccaninny soon grows attached with 
all its heart to its hlein baas, or little 
boss. Should the son take a wife and 
start on a farm of his own, his body- 
Kaffir accompanies him and at once 
assumes a certain authority over the 
other natives of the place. When the 
baas goes out with the waggon, the 



rooms and laboratories, and abundant space 
was devoted to the collections and experi- 
ments of the State Geologist. 

There were twelve State schools in the 
Gold Fields in 1898, numbering 1499 scholars 
and 49 teachers. A third part of the latter 
consisted of English men and women, who, 
although they did not understand a word 
of Dutch, had been appointed and were 
well paid. At Johannesburg there was a 
flourishing German educational establish- 
ment, supported by the State. 



The number of teachers, male and 
female, trained in the South African Re- 
public rose steadily every year, and had 
reached a total of 158. 

There were hardly any schools to be 
found in the North-West, North and North- 
East of the Republic, for those districts were 
not inhabited, or only very sparsely. Numbers 
of parents living in districts on the Natal 
border sent their children to school in Natal, 
or employed English tutors and governess- 
es. — Publishers' Note. 



MANNERS AND CHARACTER OF THE BOERS 



17 




THE NEW BUILDING OF TE STATE GIRLS' SCHOOL AT PRETORIA. At the commence- 
ment of the war, the buildings had not yet been inaugurated or inhabited. Ather the fall 
of Pretoria, they were fitted up by the English as a hospital. 



body- Kaffir is the one to accompany 
him, and it is an unwritten condition 
that one of the latter's children shall 
serve as the master's attendant when 
he goes on commando. This attendant 
carries the reserve of cartridges and 
looks to the horses. 

When the Kaffir grows too old to 
work, no Boer will leave him to his 
fate. He is allowed to live peacefully 
on the farm to his last day. When 
he sees his baa*, there is not only 
reverence in his salutation, but some- 
thing of gratitude in his eye. 

The Boer is uncommonly kind to 
animals. He will never torture a horse, 
nor injure any animal. It makes him 
furious to see anyone ride a horse 
with its back sore from the pressure 
of the saddle. He permits no cruelty 
to animals; and, keen sportsman though 
he be, he will never shoot a bird if 
he has reason to believe that it has 
young. 

His whole appearance marks him 



down as something more than flu- 
average farmer that we know. There 
is something of the country squire in 
his manner, and one need but come 
into contact with him for a very short 
time to observe that he is a man of 
race. With his clear head and his tall, 
strong body, he is an example of the 
mens sana hi corpore »<in<> theory. 

The clear landscape, full of dazzling 
light; the wide, open veldt; the general 
absence of care: these tend to make him 
an optimist. That is why he is the last 
to lose his faith in ultimate victory, 
"Alles z"l recht hum: all will come right." 
the favourite maxim of President Brand 
of the Orange Free State, is an excellent 
motto for the A.fricanders. Their 
optimism is endowed with the im- 
movable faith that everything will 
come out right, however gloomy the 
future may seem. Both young repub- 
lics have met with many calamities in 
past years, and the motto has always 
been verified. 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR 




FRONT VIEW OF THE STATE GYMNASIUM AT PRETORIA. One hardly expects to find 
so pretty and compact a building in a "peasant Republic." It bears ample testimony to the 
generosity of both the Government and Volksraad in matters of education. The interior 
corresponds in every respect with the exterior. The building contains both the High School 

and Gymnasium. 



It must be admitted that the Boers' 
optimism often changes to thought- 
lessness. They are easily dejected, but 
they as easily recover all their belief 
in the bright side of the case. Their 
optimism was the reason why they 
rested for weeks after their victories 
and gave the enemy time to concentrate 
his forces. It was their optimism that 
led them to see no danger in the 
smouldering fires at Johannesburg just 
before the Jameson Raid. Their optimism, 
too, is at the bottom of their over- 
confidence in men who know how to 
turn their own eloquence and powers 
of flattery to crafty account. The 
Boers' optimism unfits them for trade. 
They are liable at one moment too 
readily to accept a proffered price, at 
another to judge that they can demand 
more than is obtainable in the cir- 
cumstances. 

The fertility of the African soil, 
which requires little cultivation, the 



hail-storms, the locusts, which in a 
short time are able to destroy all the 
crops, without the Boer having it in 
his power to prevent it: these are all 
causes that tend to produce the spirit 
of resignation in the Africander. 

The mutual relationship of the Boers 
is in general of a very friendly and 
companionable character. Quarrels and 
brawls are unknown plagues in South 
Africa, and, however violently Boers 
may often be opposed in politics, this 
is to them no reason to be anything 
but sincere friends in all other respects. 
Even adherence to opposed church 
parties, which was one of the chief 
points of difference in the two republics, 
would not lead to open or secret 
hostility between two Boers. And the 
Boer is as calm in the home circle as 
he is peaceable with his fellows. Peace 
and tranquillity reign in his household, 
where all respect the authority of the 
master of the house. He is moderate 



.MANNERS AND CHAEACTEB OF THE BOERS 



19 




THE CLASS ROOM FOR FREE-HAND DRAWING IN THE STATE GYMNASIUM AT 

PRETORIA. 



in drinking; immoderate only in smok- 
ing. He puffs great clouds of smoke 
the whole day long. He takes up his 
pipe so soon as he dons his jacket in 
the morning, and does not put it down 
till he stands in his shirt-sleeves at 
night. At meals he deprives himself 
of his pet indulgence only long enough 
to fill his stomach. A Boer who does 
not smoke is as rare an exception as 
a Boer who is unmarried, or as one 
who is married and childless. 

The Boer's house is generally 
spacious and airy. All the rooms are 
on one floor; attics and lofts exist only 
in his stables, as receptacles for fodder 
for horses and other cattle. His living- 
room mostly serves as dining and 
sitting-room in one. The floor is made 
of pressed cow-dung, which becomes 
as hard as stone. His hangings and 
carpets consist of the dressed skins of 
deer and roe-buck which he has shot. 
and sheep which he has killed. The 
many small tables are adorned by 
numerous framed family-portraits. The 



places of honour in the room un- 
reserved for the English side-board 
with its bright mirrors, and the American 
seraphine organ, laden with pile- <>t 
sacred music and English songs. The 
repertoire of original Africander songs 
is still lamentably small. 

This picture of an Africander home 
is not, of course, a faithful reflection 
of every Boer dwelling. Some arc 
simpler. Numbers are much more 
luxurious. On many farms, especially 
in the Orange Free State, the house 
is arranged in the modern European 
fashion, with a taste and richness free 
from all excess or violent contrasts. 
The place itself is a model farm, on 
which thousands of pounds have been 
spent on irrigation works, plantations 
and the newest American inventions in 
agricultural implements. Here the 
and milch-cows have coats that gleam 
with well-being, the horses trample 
with good feeding, the sheep waddle 
in their thick and luxurious fleeces. 

In the villages, the Boer remain- 



20 



iii:i;oi-:s of tiik ijokk war. 




A PRIVATE HOUSE AT PRETORIA. 

faithful to his customs. He is out of 
bed at the first sign of approaching 
dawn and enjoying the fresh morning 
breeze. He retires early in the evening, 
after spending the day in work and in 
digging his garden. His dress and 
manners differ in no way from those 
of the European: he is notable, however, 
for his broad and sturdy figure, his 
big beard and his firm and healthy 
tread. His wife and 
daughters dress taste- 
fully: sometimes with a 
little excess of colour. 
In company he shows 
himself a lively talker, 
especially when relating 
personal experiences, 
which he excels in 
recounting without 



It has not been my 
intention in this chapter 
to give a comprehensive 
picture of the African- 
der Boer. That would 
require a volume of 
greater dimensions than 



this little work. I 
have only tried to sketch 
the Boer in a few lines. 
In so doing, I have 
had neither the Trans- 
vaaler nor the Free 
Stater more particularly 
in my mind's eye. Both 
nations are so closely 
akin in character that 
I have treated them as 
one. The Free Stater 
may be a litte more 
cosmopolitan than the 
Transvaaler, but this 
does not constitute a 
sufficient difference to 
warrant a separate de- 
lineation of character. 
Both have struggled 
for a sacred cause, both have fought 
with the same courage and perse- 
verance , both have suffered equally. 
Both wish to be considered together as 
the representatives and combatants of 
the Young Africander race. 

My pen -sketches of their leaders 
and generals, as I have known them, 
are no more than they pretend to be: 
swift, transitory sketches. They are 




A PRIVATE HOUSE AT PRETORIA. 



MANNERS AND CHAEACTEB OF THE BOERS. 



21 



not the product of a life-long study 
of their lives, actions and aspirations. 
I learnt to know them in my capacity 
as a journalist, and as such I have 
drawn them: rapidly, briefly, trying to 
display the qualities in which they 
differ one from the other. 

If this work should help to make 



the great men of this second struggle 
for liberty better known to the British 
people, then 1 shall have repaid some 
small part of the friendship which 
I have enjoyed at the hands of Afri- 
canders, and niv sympathy for those 
gallant nations shall not have been 
in vain. 




A TYPICAL BOEB FAMILY, 



CHAPTER III. 



THE BOER IN WAR. 



[" remember reading an article in the 
-*- Daily Mail in which its correspond- 
ent, the late Julian Ralph, considered 
the question of the value of the courage 
of the British troops. And the conclu- 
sion to which he came was that all 
the contempt of death displayed by the 
crack regiments had been of very little 
practical use. It is a very fine thing 
to march to a certain death with head 
erect and without hesitation, like the 
Highlanders at Magersfontein, on the 
11th of December 1899, and the Canad- 
ians at the storming of Cronje's laager 
at Paardeberg, on the 18 th of February 
1900; but of what use is it against the 
modern repeating rifle, which hits with 
perfect accuracy at a great distance, 
and which gives the marksmen behind 
the trenches the incalculable advantage 
of being able to mow down almost am 
number of assaulters before these have 
reached their object? 

The Boer admires and respects that 
courage, and holds no British soldier 



higher than the Scotch; but, at the same 
time, he keeps in view the unpractical 
side of this heroism, and condemns it 
in his peculiar way with his stoical 
"Therefore it's banja imprudent." Ami 
so Julian Ralph and the Boer conn' to 
one and the same conclusion. 

What we Europeans call courage, 
that is to say, contempt tor death, the 
Boer knows nothing of. Yet 1 do not 
agree with those who call him a coward. 
Circumstances have endowed him with 
a quite different sort of courage 

From generation to generation, the 
descendant of two nations, both well- 
known for their contempt of death, the 
French and the Dutch, has learnt to 
place caution and stratagem on a higher 
level than courage. In his struggle 
with the natives, who were sometimes 
a hundred times as many a- those 
whose waggon camp the] attacked, he 
has learnt how to beat his enemy by 
means of cautious tact and has taught 
that enemy to respect him. W ith a 

4* 



24 



HEROES OE THE BOER WAR, 



contempt of death 
even greater than 
that of the Euro- 
pean, the blacks in 
close hordes stormed 
the laagers only to 
be repeatedly driven 
hack, in spite of the 
small number of the 
defenders and the 
bad, old-fashioned 
muskets. The pre- 
sence of the women 
in the laager gave 
the men courage to 
tight to the utter- 
most for wife ami 
child , but at the 
same time imbued 
them with the ne- 
cessary prudence not 
to throw away their 
lives needlessly and, 
in so doing, allow 
the Kaffirs to gain 
an advantage for 
which the Boer's 
dear ones would have 




COLONEL A. H. SCHIEL, Commandant 
of the German Corps. Wounded at Elands- 
laagte 21 October 1899, taken prisoner, and 
transported to St. Helena. Colonel Schiel, 
who is here represented in the uniform 
of Captain Commandant of Johannesburg 
Fort, played but a very short part in the 
war. 



had to pay with a 
hideous martyrdom. 
This method of 
defence is inbred in 
the Boer, and has 
been developed yet 
further in the present 
war. 

Elandslaagte, where 
the Dutch and Ger- 
man Corps received 
their baptism of 
blood on the 21st of 
October 1899, and 
Magersfontein where, 
on the 11th of De- 
cember 1899, the 
Scandinavians met 
with their heroic 
deaths: these are in- 
stances of the cour- 
age of the Europeans. 
Together with the 
fight at Boshof, 
where the French 
General de Villebois 
fell on the 5 th of 
April 19U0, these 




ARRIVAL OF A TRANSPORT AT ELANDSLA ACTE. Slowly the oxen draw the enormous, 
springless and, for the greater part, heavily-laden waggons over the uneven roads. A rope 
is fastened to the foremost ox, and the team is led by a Kaffir, who walks in front, whilst 
the Boer, walking alongside, wields his mighty whip, in the use of which he is so skilled 
that he is able to catch up the smallest stone with it, or kill a bird on the wing. 



26 



BEROES (>F THE BOEB WAR. 




GUNN'ERS OP THE TRANSVAAL STATE ARTILLERY. The S. A. (Slate Artillery) 
compelled respect from the English by its uncommonly accurate shooting. The English 
generals could not imagine that it was simple Boers who were serving the guns, and news 
was constantly being sent into the world to the effect that the Transvaal and Free State had 
taken German mercenaries into their service to work the artillery. Nothing is more untrue. 
Together witli the police, the artillery formed the standing army of the Transvaal, and with 
the former it was the only commando that wore a uniform. 



will form brilliant and memorable pages 
in the history of oar second War of 
Independence: but at the same time they 
will bear witness against that contempt 
of death which is to be admired, but 
no less to be regretted. 



The Boer is said to be a little too 
cautious and too quick in leaving his 
position when it becomes a trifle hot 
for him. I will not contest this state- 
ment, nor would any impartial person 
do so. But remember that no disci- 



THE BOEB IX WAR. 



27 



pline keeps the Boer to his place, and 
that nothing is more contagious than 
flight. Where, however, but a shade 
of discipline prevails, it soon appears 
that the Boer is indeed brave, even in 
the sense which we attach to the word. 
No one will deny the courage of the 
Johannesburg Police, iror of the Free 
State and Transvaal Artillery. A Boer 
who continues to light until he realizes 
the impossibility of holding his position, 
and who retreats only at the very last mo- 
ment, deserves a more honourable men- 
tion than does the European soldier 
who advances with the knowledge that 
to turn round means certain and shame- 
ful death at the hands of his officers. 
The European has contempt of death 
in his blood; to advance cautiously, to 
make use of every bit of cover as the 
Boer does when attacking, he thinks 
beneath him, and calls it cowardly. The 
Boer, on the other hand, takes a practical 
view: his object is to injure the enemy, 
to spare himself, both in the highest 
measure; in other words, the innate 
tactics of the Kaffir wars. 

Moreover, in the first year of the 
war, there was no one to hold back 
the Boer when he "changed his posi- 
tion:" the favourite word for retiring. 
It is true that a commandant or field 
cornet might have tried to talk courage 
into the poltroon, or to hold him back 
by threats: sometimes even to bring him 
back to his duty by means of blows; 
but this exhausted all so-called forcible 
measures. The Boer has not the Eng- 
lishman's fear of a disgraceful death at 
the hands of his officer. That is why 
I have a greater admiration for the 
brave Boer than for the death- scorning 
Briton. 

It has often been asked why there 
was not more discipline in the Boer 
commandoes. The answer is to be found 
in the character of the Africander. He 
is master of his own place: usually 
there is no living being to be found 
for hours around it. In all cases that 



occur upon his farm, he decides without 
appeal, and for this reason he brooks 
no thwarting (I, of course, except im- 
portant questions which concern the 
judges or the civil authorities). It is 
therefore easily understood that it was 
impossible suddenly to accustom him 
to military discipline on commando. 
Arguments and reminders of the good 
of the cause and the help of God were 
of great service, as President Kruger 
understood, who knew the burghers as 
though they were his own children. 
But for those there was no time in the 
heat of the fight, and that which has 
the desired effect with a soldier trained 
to discipline produced obstinacy in the 
Boer, accustomed to command and not 
to be commanded. Hence it came about 
that, when he refused to fight, no power 
on earth could compel him. 

In the earlier stages of the war, 
before Lord Roberts captured the Magers- 
fontein positions on the 15th of Februarj 
1900, the burghers were accustomed, 
if leave was refused them to go home 
for a short time from commando, siniplj 
to go without leave. A burgher who 
did not care to fight very easily with- 
drew from the action. He merely stayed 
in laager, or tried to be given some 
job which kept him out of danger. 
There were whole commandoes that 
acted in this way. The other Boers 
stamped these heroes with the charac- 
teristic title of la'erleggers, or camp- 
loungers, and. in the later stages of the 
war. with the typical nickname oibush- 
lancers, hiding themselves as they 
did in the bush-veldt. The leader-, of 
these camp-lounging commandoes or 
bush-lancers were generally officers who 
were of opinion that it was in any case 
better to lose your country than your 
lit',.. The patriotic burghers serving 
under one of these commandants or field 
cornets would join some other com- 
mando, where they could take a more 
active part in the fighting. On the 
other hand, burghers whose lives were 



28 



HEROES OF THE BOEE WAR. 



too dear to them to be sacrificed for 
their country, lefl their commandoes, it' 
these were too far in the forefronl of 
battle, and joined the camp-loungers. 

Bach man was free to join the 
commando he preferred. Generally, 
members of one family clung together, 
so that it often happened that one field 
cornet hud a dozen or more men of 
the same name serving under him. They 
dug their trenches together and lay in 
one ditch during the righting. At 
Magersfontein, two members of one 
family were found lulled and four woun- 
ded in the same trench. 



I be posil ion taken up, he told him so; 
and, if his opinion afterwards turned out 
to he collect, he would not fail to 
remind bis general of it. This was 
the condition of things in the Boer 
Army during the first year of the war. 
Still, genuine military discipline 
prevailed in some of the commandoes 
In the Johannesburg Police and the 
Transvaal and Free State Artillery, 
discipline was no less severe than in 
the British Army. Those corps proved 
that the Boer had in him the makings 
of an ideal soldier, who combined with 
the strictest obedience his innate instinct 




GLIMPSES OK BOER CAMP LIFE: ARRIVAL OF SUPPLIES. The horsemen who escorted 

t lie m- wire responsible for the safe conduct of the waggons. The] wire at the same time carriers 

of news, not usually official news, and sometimes a trifle exaggerated. The latest news 

spread through the Boer laager with wonderful rapidity. 



It often happened that a man re- 
ceived a week's leave and returned after 
an interval of three weeks. It was 
possible for punishment to be adminis- 
tered under the military law; but this 
rarely took place. In tine, the Boer 
on commando was nominally, but not 
really, subject to discipline. The burgher 
did his duty of his own free will. He 
knew his officers, even his general, 
personally, addressed them with the 
familiar jij and jou and criticized their 
acts and orders in their presence. If 
he disagreed with the general touching 



to seek cover when storming and cap- 
turing positions. But no discipline on 
earth could ever turn the Boer into a 
military automaton. 

The artillery and police formed 
the standing army of the Transvaal 
and Orange Free State. They had 
been drilled in time of peace: the 
other commandoes had not. Vet there 
were some of the Boer officers who 
overlooked no offences and maintained 
a proper strictness. The cowards left 
these officers for less kwaaie kerels 
(bad or "nasty" fellows), and through 



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30 



HEROES <)F TIIK BOER WAR. 




GLIMPSES OF BOER CAMP LIFE: RECEIPT OF INTELLIGENCE. Having received 
and read his dispatch, the commandant would call the burghers together, mount a plat- 
form , by preference an ox-waggon , and read it out aloud to the attentive listeners gathered 

around him. 



this fact the quality of the commandoes 
of the severer generals, commandants 
and field-cornets was naturally improved. 

The absence of discipline in the 
Boer commandoes had its compensating 
advantages. The Boer, in consequence, 
acted more independently and did not 
lapse into a military machine, incapable 
of moving without orders. The Boer 
trusted his mate. He knew that the 
latter was not likely to commit a blunder, 
and he acted in harmony with him, 
without orders or preconcerted agree- 
ment. 

When this mutual confidence was 
shaken and when the Boer no longer 
felt convinced that his comrade would 
not, at a given moment, leave him in 
the lurch, then Lord Roberts' success 
began, and the field -marshal cleverly 
took advantage of the general loss of 
that mutual bond in order to march 
to Pretoria before confidence was 
restored. Had the Boers still possessed 
the old spirit which had rendered 
the assault of Spion Kop possible 
on the 24th and 25th of January 1900, 
Lord Roberts would have met with 
a very different sort of opposition. 
As it happened, only a few com- 



mandoes made a stand against the 
progress of the overwhelming numeri- 
cal superiority ; these did not, of 
course, consist of camp-loungers, but 
of the sturdy burghers who had the 
courage and the sense of duty to stand 
firm under their brave and undaunted 
leaders. And yet the Boers can hardly 
be blamed for not hampering the mighty 
march to Pretoria. Their forces were 
becoming steadily smaller, and the Eng- 
lish no longer fought as before, but 
restricted themselves to endeavouring, 
with their ten-fold superiority, to sur- 
round their enemy's forces and to 
prepare for them the fate of Cronje 
and his followers. Had the Boers then 
allowed themselves to be surrounded, 
the war would probably have ended 
much earlier than it did, as their 
numbers would have shrunk through 
capture to an even still more distress- 
ing extent. 

To take to flight and change 
the whole method of warfare became 
an immediate necessity. After the 
capture of Pretoria, General De Wet 
abandoned the grande guerre without 
hesitation or delay, and, once Komati 
Poort had been occupied, General Louis 



THE I'.ORR IN WAR 



31 



Botha also took up the guerilla. The 
Boers had no alternative. To the quarter 
of a million British soldiers they could 
oppose but some twenty thousand men; 
and their biff-gun ammunition was be- 
coming exhausted. The time for war 
on a large scale was past. 

In the guerilla the Boer felt more at 
home. He was now seldom attacked 
by a force too powerful for his small 
numbers; for he took care to evade 
any such force. He himself selected 
the detachment which he proposed to 
attack, and was therefore almost always 
able to reckon on success. With the 
greatest cleverness, and relying on the 
swiftness of his horse, he succeeded 
in escaping his enemy , who knew 
the country so badly. He struck 
his blow, and, before there was a 
chance of catching him , he was 
gone. This life was less fatiguing for 
the Boer, accustomed to sleep on the 
veldt, to shift for himself, to content 



himself with slender rations, than for 
the Englishman, who was given but 
little rest. Each fresh success roused 
the Boer's courage. There was no fear 
of recklessness on his side; recklessness 
is not in his nature; recklessness is 
"Ixnija imprudent." He was fully in- 
formed of every movement of the enemy: 
the British were in the midst of bis 
country and surrounded by spies who 
were never at loss for means to transmit 
news. And, when the Boer did not 
receive the information he required in 
the field, he went and sought it for 
himself. 

Many ways were open to him. The 
first and simplest of these the English 
themselves had taught him. He harnessed 
his oxen to his waggon, loaded it with 
agricultural produce and drove to 
market, to return with the desired data 
to his farm, and then to his commando. 
In this way, he even ventured into the 
British camp, where he sold his vege- 




(JLIMPSES OF BOER CAMP LIFE: RESTING. The scouts have returned without meeting 

the enemy, as is seen by their full bandoliers. The horses are off-saddled and enjoying 

their feed. Tired, but alert, the warriors are snatching a few moments' rest. 



■vi 



HEROES OF THE BOEK WAR. 



tallies tn the Tommies with the consent 
of the officer on duty. 

It' lie saw no chance of spying in 
this fashion, then, aided by the all- 
shrouding South African darkness, he 
slipped through the British lines at night, 
as Dame Theron did when he performed 
his famous feat of penetrating to Cronjes 
invested laager at Paardeberg and back 
again. After a short stay amid the 
British forces, he returned in the same 
stealthy manner through theenemy'slines. 

But, if this too was impossible, then 
the Boer simply donned the English 
khaki, saddled a captured horse, and 



Moreover, the equipment of the 
Boer was so light that it was no ob- 
stacle whatever to the swiftness of his 
horse. His load generally consisted of 
his rifle and ammunition, a little kettle 
for boiling his coffee, a mug and a flask. 

Finally, his great advantage over his 
enemy lay in his ubiquitousness, which 
enabled him at any given moment 
suddenly to increase his forces. A 
commando which numbered a hundred 
men to-day would, if need be, consist 
of a thousand to-morrow. And, should 
the enemy approach with a larger force 
to destrov the little Boer commando. 




GLIMPSES OF BOER CAMP LIFE: A FIELT) CORNET'S TENT. A report has come 

in and is being read by the field cornet. Important orders appear to be expected, for the 

Boers are armed and ready to march. 



he, who otherwise always gallops, trotted, 
according to all the rules of the Eng- 
lish riding-school, to the town or camp, 
where his knowledge of the enemy's 
language and his own boldness enabled 
him to overcome all difficulties. In this 
way, the men of the Johannesburg Police 
paid repeated visits to several towns 
and camps. 

Another advantage of the Boer is 
his dexterity in the harnessing and un- 
harnessing of waggons, carts and guns, 
thanks to which he always gained on 
the enemy on the march: no small 
advantage in guerilla warfare. 



then the latter dissolved as it were into 
the endlessness of the African veldt. 
Each man went his own way, to meet 
his comrades again at a place fixed 
beforehand. 

Even in this guerilla warfare, with 
the numerous dispersed commandoes, 
the English never succeeded in com- 
pletely interrupting the communica- 
tions between the different officers in 
command. From the foremost post in 
Cape Colony to the most northerly 
point in the Transvaal, communications 
were regularly and unintermittently 
maintained by dispatch -riders, who 



34 



HEROES OF THE BOEE WAR. 



easily passed through the British lines. 
Dr. Bierens de Haan, wlio worked for 
eighteen months as one of the sur- 
geons of the Netherlands Red Cross 
Ambulance with the Boer commandoes, 
con firms this fact and declares that 
only once was General De la Rey cut 
off from communicating with his friends, 
for a space of three weeks. This was 
the only case of interruption of the 
communication between the Boer com- 
mandoes from the fall of Komati Poort, 
on the 24th of September 1900, to the 
middle of April 1901. 

And in the guerilla warfare the 
Boers have shoAvn that they too possess 
the particular quality which we Euro- 
peans call courage or contempt of death. 
The change in the manner of conducting 
the war necessitated continual attacks, 
where formerly they had been content to 
act on the defensive. And as assailants 
they have shown themselves as undaunt- 
ed as formerly when defending their 
positions. Again their great power 
lay in their iron nerves, which formerly 
enabled them quietly to await attack 
and calmly to leave the enemy's fire 
unanswered, until the British soldiers 
had come within range of the Mauser. 

The difference in the meaning of 
the word courage, as understood by 
the Europeans and the Boers, led to 
only too great a disillusionment on the 
part of the Europeans, especially at the 
commencement of the war. The Hol- 
landers and Germans in the Boer ranks 
would often talk enthusiastically of a 
feat performed by some reckless indivi- 
dual or other: 

u No," a Boer would drawl out in 
reply, '"that's a bit too imprudent, you 
see." 

This condemnation would act as a 
cold shower-bath upon the exulting 
European and often closed his eyes to 
other deeds showing a genuine contempt 
of death, but less striking, perhaps, 
than the storming of kopjes. 

< )ne did not hear him speak of the 



Boer who, amid the rain of bullets, 
carried his wounded comrade out of 
the fighting line to the ambulance and 
then calmly returned to his post, be- 
cause it was the right thing to do. To 
leave a position had made so bad an 
impression on our European that he 
had no eyes for the many cases in 
which the Boer laid down his gun and 
went to the aid of the British wounded 
calling for water, even though he ran 
every risk of losing his life by it. Yet 
in this sort of contempt for death the 
Boer was in no way deficient. 

He has, however, given even greater 
proofs of courage, which justly entitle 
the Free Staters and Transvaalers to 
call themselves het volk vol heldenmbld, 
the nation of heroes. Lord Roberts 
issued his seductive proclamations (of 
31 May 1900 et seq.) The Boer, 
who was greatly attached to his wife 
and child, who loved his land, which 
by his hand and care had grown 
to what it was, his farm-house, which 
he himself had built, the orchard him- 
self had planted, his cattle that formed 
his wealth, would have been able to 
return to all these if he had laid down 
his arms. No more privations, no 
more danger of death, no more 
parting from wife and child. The 
temptation was strong. His general or 
commandant had no power to prevent 
him. He himself had been for months 
on the veldt, he scarcely knew how 
things were going at his homestead. 
The retreating movement of his com- 
mandoes took him past his place. If 
he went home, he retained all: at least, 
so he believed; if he went on, he lost 
all that for which his fathers and himself 
had laboured for years. Nothing but 
his sense of duty, his love of his country 
could make him decide in this difficult 
juncture. 

Every Boer stood face to face with 
his choice, and half of them passed by 
wife and child and home, while it would 
have been so much easier, so much 



THE BOEB IN WAR. 



:;:, 



more advantageous and less disquieting 
to fall out of the commando in order 
to protect and care for wife and child. 

Courage such as this must inspire 
respect even in the bitterest foe, just 
as the tenacious perseverance with 
which the struggle for independence was 
maintained, compels admiration. 

We have heard that the clothes of 
the Boers were ragged, that many of 
them only put on their shoes before 
fighting, to save their last pair, already 
almost worn out. We have heard that, 
during the last months of the struggle, 
from the lowest burgher to the Com- 



mandant General and the Acting Presi- 
dent, all had nothing to eat l>nt 
coarsely -roasted mutton and meal-pap, 
and often not even that. We have 
heard that, towards the end, they had, at 
most, one blanket apiece wherewith to 
cover themselves at night against the 
biting cold. He who has taken part 
in the veldt life in South Africa can 
imagine the misery and privations. And 
yet the struggle was long maintained. 
The Boers' sacred , fanatical love of 
their country kept them in the field. 

Who shall deny the majesty of such 
a resistance? 




TrtREE GKNBRATIONS AT THE WAR. The grandfather was 66, the father 48, 
the son 15 years of age. The grandfather was too old lor compulsory enlistment: 
the son too young; but neither deemed himself too old or too young to cany and 
use a rifle for love of the mother-land. The father killed three English soldiers 
before six others succeeded in overpowering him. 




7} 

- 



CHAPTER IV. 



OOM PAUL AND TANTE SANNA. 



AT the end of May 1899, I was in- 
structed by my editor to accompany 
the President on his journey to Bloem- 
fontein, where the conference with Sir 
Alfred Milner, the British High Com- 
missioner, was to take place. As the 
representative of the Volksstem, I travelled 
in the President's train. 

The day of our departure was a 
glorious winter's day, full of radiant 
sunshine that cheered the heart. The 
wide, pale veldt, the vast blue sky, the 
fresh breeze which wafted wholesome 
and invigorating perfumes to us from 
out of Nature's infinity, the gentle move- 
ment of the saloon-carriage: all tended 
to produce an exhilarating mood. 

I knew that the coming conference 
with Sir Alfred Milner would be of 
the utmost moment for South Africa; 
a few days before our departure, State 
Secretary Reitz had said to me: 

"This is perhaps the last chance; 
if this conference produces no result, 
I shall expect war as almost a cer- 
tainty." 



But I felt so full of sheer animal 
spirits that the first puff of wind car- 
ried all sombre humours away with it 
to dispel them in the vastness of the 
African landscape. Dr. Heymans, the 
oculist, Mr. W. J. Fockens, the Presi- 
dent's secretary, and I sat cheerfully 
talking on the platform of the Presi- 
dent's carriage, our eyes wandering over 
the veldt, majestic, all- subduing in its 
grandeur, in which trees, houses, kopjes 
even, are lost as specks, as nothings. 
Behind us, in the saloon, sat Oom 
Paul, State Attorney J. C. Smuts and 
the two members of the Executive Raad, 
A. D. W. Wolmarans and Schalk Willem 
Burger. 

Our conversation grew livelier, inter- 
mingled with frequent laughter, when 
we found ourselves approaching a station. 
1 stood up to see where we were, and, 
as it happened, my glance fell upon 
the old President. I started: never had 
I seen him so serious, so bent, so old. 
It was painfully silent inside the saloon: 
none of those present uttered a word. 

5 



38 



IIKi;<>i;s OF TIIK BOER WAR. 



President Kruger's eyes were more 
inflamed than they had been for a long 
time since Dr. Heymans had treated 
them; they stared ont before them with 
an expression of utter sadness and pro- 
found grief. My cheerful humour fled, 
and I too was overcome with a sense 
of melancholy. 1 knew Oom Paul only 
as the pleasant talker, always full of 
jokes and anecdotes when travelling; as 
a man who shortened the longest journey 
with his tales of hunting adventures 
and personal recollections; as a man 
who could laugh so heartily and ge- 
nuinely that he made others join in 
his laughter, even if a great part of 
the story was lost because the Presi- 
dent speaks so indistinctly. 

We steamed through the station. 
A number of people stood on the plat- 
form and respectfully bared their heads. 
His Honour acknowledged the greet- 
ing, but not with his usual friendly 
nod and merrily -twinkling eye. His 
bow was absent-minded and sad. Our 
talk outside dropped ; the sublime 
landscape, the free air of heaven no 
longer held us; our mood was gone 
and did not return until much later 
when, at Kroonstad, where the train 
was stopped during the night so as not 
to disturb the President's sleep, we sat 
in the railway refreshment-room, listen- 
ing to the gay conversation of Land- 
drost Papenfuss, of Bloemfontein, and 
Major Albrecht, the Commandant of the 
Free State Artillery, who had received 
President Kruger at Viljoensdrift, the 
frontier-station. 

The next day, during the second 
half of the journey, I was struck by 
the same appearance of gloomy serious- 
ness worn by the President. But, at 
Bloemfontein, when no longer in the 
midst of his own circle, he became the 
diplomatist once more. He strove to 
assume a lively air while he was being 
welcomed at the station, and, thanks to 
ihs iron will, succeeded; but the people 
who saw him thought he had grown old. 



At the reception he even seemed 
jovial, and those who had gone to this 
function to read on his face how the 
political situation stood went home with 
easy minds. Oom Paul was cheerful. 
Oom Paul was confident. It was not 
the first time that President Kruger had 
shown the world that it must not hope 
to read on his face what was passing 
inside him. At the "rout" at President 
Steyn's, the same masterly acting, the 
same control of his emotions. 

The two Presidents and their coun- 
cillors worked daily until late at night. 
I did not again see President Kruger 
in his own circle until two days had 
passed. It was Sunday morning. Oom 
Paul was sitting outside on the veran- 
dah. The first thing that struck me 
was that he had laid aside his inse- 
parable pipe. He sat quite alone, which 
was also not his custom. His eyes were 
very red and the lids greatly swollen. 
I could see that he had been crying. 

Dr. Heymans told me later that, in 
the morning, he had said to him: 

"President, you've been greeting, 
and that's very bad for your eyes." 

"Yes," answered President Kruger, 
simply and very sadly, "I don't sleep now, 
doctor: I cry the whole night through." 

I went and sat with the President, 
but the conversation flagged. There 
were long pauses of gloomy silence. 
At last he rose, on the pretext that 
the sun hurt his eyes, and went indoors. 

I went in search of Danie Wolma- 
rans, who was walking in the garden, 
also alone. He too had tears in his 
eyes and spoke with an ill- controlled 
tremor in his voice. Schalk Burger 
appeared from another part of the 
orchard, waxen pale against the black 
of his hair and beard. 

Their sadness seized upon me. It 
was a torture to see those tall, strong 
men, with their past of sorrow and 
strife, so utterly downcast. I shall 
never forget that morning. As I went 
away, I heard Danie say to Fockens: 




£fElP£LJ»£I\& 




VIEWS Of HEIDELBERG. 1. Heidelberg a prospermia village lying ill the midst of the 
Gold Fields, is the capital of the district of that name. 2. The building from which the 
Vierkleur waves is the Landdrost's Court. 3 & 5. The little water-falls here reproduced 
belong to the sights of the place. 4. The little sand-stone church gleams white in the 
middle of the great market-place. It was at Heidelberg that President Kruger in the commen- 
cement of 1898, unfolded the programme which granted a liberal franchise , law-reforms and 
other reforms of a far-reaching character. 



40 



HEROES OF THE BOEE WAR. 



"And if we had done as they asked, 
they would not have been contented. 
There were other things to be settled, 
the High Commissioner said." 

At that moment I did not know 
what Danie meant; now I understand 
that he referred to the five years' 
franchise and Sir Alfred Milner's remark 
that, in addition to the franchise, there 
were other things to be discussed, even 
though that were the principal one. 

We left Bloemfontein by special 
train at eight o'clock on the evening 
of the 5th of June. The President 
went straight to bed, and I did not 
see him again till the next morning. 
He was less sad: the fact that both 
President Steijn and the Free State 
Volksraad had approved of his line of 
conduct during the negociations forti- 
fied him. And had not Sir Alfred 
Milner allowed it to appear, when 
closing the Conference, that in any 
case a good foundation had been laid 
for further negociations? I knew this 
two days later, when the report of the 
Bloemfontein Conference was published. 
I then understood why Oom Paul had 
been in better spirits on his return 
from his journey to Canossa: all was 
not yet lost. He was firmly decided to 
strain every nerve to save South Africa 
from a terrible disaster. If only Mr. 
Chamberlain and Sir Alfred Milner had 
entertained the same noble resolve! 



# 



It was the 10th of October, the 
President's birthday. Dr. Engelenburg, 
the Editor of the Volksstem, had al- 
ready gone to the South-East of the 
Republic with the early commandoes. 
The duty of congratulating the Head 
of the State fell upon myself. Oom 
Paul had asked that all public cele- 
brations might be abandoned. The 
times were too grave for merry-making. 
The ultimatum had been dispatched. 
The limit of time would be up at five 



o'clock the next day. The die was cast. 
There was no drawing back. 

In August, after the offer of the 
five years' franchise had been made, 
when the Times had expressed its 
satisfaction and the compliance of the 
Transvaal seemed to have improved 
even Mr Chamberlain's mood, a moment 
of relief had been experienced at Pre- 
toria: a very short moment, however, 
for the telegram of the Outlander Com- 
mittee, with its impossible demands, 
combined with Sir Alfred Milner's 
irreconcilable attitude, had once more 
aroused the war spirit in England. More 
troops were dispatched to South Africa. 
Mr. Chamberlain delivered his violent 
speeches. The extended military posts in 
Natal were pushed still nearer the 
Transvaal frontier, and the demands of 
the British Government were constantly 
increasing. The Johannesburg million- 
aires, with Rhodes, their financial king, 
at their head, triumphed. The Trans- 
vaal must be destroyed. 

On such a day as this I had to 
congratulate Oom Paul! I felt that I 
would almost rather die. 

"If we have war now, England will 
not let go till she has strangled us," 
he had said a few weeks earlier, when 
matters were not yet hopeless; and he 
added, "God alone can save us." 

When I entered the great reception- 
room and saw President Kruger seated 
in his big arm-chair, I remembered 
those final words. There he sat, up- 
right, burly as ever. True, the features 
were more wrinkled than before , the 
eyes seemed sadder, but the wide mouth 
stood more firmly marked than ever in 
that rugged face. I could see in this 
signal representative of his people how 
bitter the coming struggle was to be, 
the fight for independence which would 
"stagger humanity." 

It was the day after the Battle of 
Elandslaagte (21 October 1899). Com- 
plete panic reigned at Pretoria. The 
most exaggerated rumours prevailed. 



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42 



HEROES OF THE BOEB WAR. 



The German Corps had been cut to 
pieces. Of the Hollander Corps, the 
few who where still alive had fallen 
into the enemy's hands. The news 
became more unfavourable as the day 
advanced. But, towards mid-day, the 
] r olksstem received a very full tele- 
gram from its special correspondent, 
from which it appeared that the po- 
sition was not so serious as those in 
the capital imagined. I at once took 
this telegram to the President's, where 
I found the Landdrost of Pretoria and 



a special edition which showed that 
the first tidings had been wantonly 
exaggerated and that, tragic though 
it were , the Battle of Elandslaagte 
was a glorious feat of arms for the 
Boers. 

We of the staff of the Volksstem 
felt that day that it might be necessary 
to appear on Sunday in order to sup- 
press any mischievous and intentional 
panic. The people of the Transvaal 
are a Christian people , and we were 
unwilling to offend the religious pre- 




PAARDEKKAAL, NEAR KRUGEESDORP. In the middle of the plain stands the monument 
raised on the historic heap of stones. When England, in 1880, refused to restore the in- 
dependence of the Transvaal, the burghers assembled here in large numbers, on the 13th of 
December, and swore that they would gain their liberty or die. Each took up a stone and 
threw it upon the others, as a token that he had registered his vow. Every five years, on 
the anniversary of Dingaau's Day (16 December 1838), the Transvaalers assemble here to 
render thanks to God for the victory gained in 1881. The photograph represents one of these 

gatherings. 



one or two other important functionaries 
sitting silent, with downcast faces. It 
was the commencement of the war and 
the first defeat. Oom Paul was calm, 
and he, the eldest, the man who felt 
the loss most , was advising everyone 
to wait for more reliable news. The 
first accounts had come from fugitives, 
'and the man who runs away", said the 
President, "looks upon a tree as the 
devil. I have never believed the stories 
of runaways," he added. 

The facts brilliantly justified the 
President. At eleven o'clock the same 
evening, the Volksstem appeared with 



judices of others. I therefore went to 
ask permission to appear on Sunday if 
necessary. State Secretary Reitz had 
no objection; he only wished me to 
consult President Kruger. The "fanatical 
Calvinist," as the late Mr. Rhodes's 
admirers love to call the President, 
could not understand why the State 
Secretary had sent me to him. The 
issue would be for the good of the 
country. He cordially approved of the 
suggestion. 

In the Volksraad , the President's 
large arm - chair , to the right of the 
Speaker's chair, generally remained 



oo.M I'AIL AM) TANTK SANNA. 



empty. As a rule, the work of the 
legislature was as uninteresting as 
in most countries. Only when the 
President entered did the atmosphere 
become laden with an importance which 
formed a sharp contrast with the im- 
pression immediately preceding his 
arrival. The member who was speaking- 
would at once cease; the secretary cast 
a glance behind him over his right 
shoulder, the 

Speaker gave a 
little tap with his 
hammer on the 
table , the Presi- 
dent stepped to- 
wards his chair 
with a simple 
"Good day, gent- 
lemen," which re- 
sounded weightily 
through the 

House. All the 
members rose 
from their seats, 
and the Head of 
the State sat down 
beside the Speaker 
and shook him by 
the hand. I know 
not whether it 
was this greeting 
or the fact that 
he usually brought 
important docu- 
ments with him : 
I have always 
noticed this sharp 
contrast without 
being able to account for the reason. 
It used also to strike me how 
greatly the forcible attitude of the 
President in the Raad differed from 
his attitude at home. He no longer 
sat huddled in his chair, with the 
troubled eye that gave evidence of his 
thought. He sat straight up, playing 
with some bit of paper which he found 
before him, apparently heedless, but 
really full of attention. He was ever 




THE PAARDEKRAAL MONUMENT. 



ready to reply or at once to afford 
the desired information. Sometimes he 
was even too quick, so that the Speaker 
had to motion to him to keep his seat. 
I have never known him at a loss for 
an answer. 

He seemed younger in the Raad 
than at home. Sometimes he was 
able cleverly to postpone his replies in 
order to gain time for thought. His 
deafness in such 
cases stood him in 
good stead. With 
a half-movement 
of his body, he 
would turn to the 
Chairman and ask 
what the last 
speaker had said. 
And , when once 
he had, after due 
reflection , given 
his answer , he 
never had occasion 
to go back upon 
it, however expert 
the Opposition 
might show them- 
selves. 

It would be 
difficult to find a 
tougher or more 
indefatigable de- 
fender of a motion 
than Oom Paul. 
The Orders of the 
Voiksraad gave 
him the right to 
speak as often as 
he himself thought necessary. He was 
entitled to answer each member separate- 
ly. And so it happened that, when the dis- 
cussion was lively, His Honour probably 
established a record for parliamentary 
eloquence. Once, when the revision of 
the Standing Orders was in question, 
the Member for Barberton, Mr. 1\. K. 
Loveday, moved that the President's 
privilege of debate should be limited like 
that of the other members. He showed 



44 



HEROES OF T1IK IJOFR WAR. 



THE TRANSVAAL NATIONAL ANTHEM. 



Allegro moderato. 
P 



Words and Music by K. F. van KEES. 
Translation by E. J. 



BE 



=^a3T7 ntrn rr r _XB= 



&1 



Dostknowthat folk of he -roes' might, And yet so long cast down? It gives its 



— z ZZJ-^-j ,__D 3_, ■ » J_, 



gZ3Z ^ = g=^f~h-=== l_J ±zEEEEqE ri b di p^ = ^ZJg__ EEgE3 

blood and weal outright, Great li-ber-ty to crown. Come, bur-ghers, set your ban-ners 



> 






dim. 






streaming, Our suf-fer-ings are past; Pro-claim your glorious heroes gleaming : We're free-born folk at 
-a — S-Fw-^-pi — #--#— Y]y<—»-+- Sv — h — *— *— -* — -p*'**-* — *-+-*-— — 'i — »—\ 



rfi'm . 



^4tt-f 



c*f — 1 #-»-» — #--#^-» — i — ( — f-i — }-\ — +-#— » # » +-1 — I — i — a*-\~ F — * — — 



£_ _ . 



last! We're free-born folk. We're free-born folk. We're free-born, free-born folk at last! 







// 



-fbAl 



4 



SPJ^ ^}£teB^} gfe^^ :i^^^l 



<>OM PAUL AND TANTE SANNA. 



45 



Dost know that land of dwellers rare 

And yet so wondrous bright, 
Where Nature's marvels past eompare 

Are lavishly in sight? 
Transvaalers, loud your joy be singing, 

There where our brave men stand, 
Where festive volleys loud are ringing, 

There is our Motherland! 
That glorious land, 
That glorious land. 

There is, that is our Motherland! 



Dost know that State still but a child 

In the world's comity, 
But yet by mighty Britain mild 

Erstwhile declared free? 
Transvaalers, noble was your fighting, 

Though held in scorn so great; 
But God, Who's given us our righting, 

Be praised for our free State! 
Praise be to God, 
Praise be to God, 

Praise be to God for land and State! 



that His Honour had spoken no less 
than forty- eight times to a single 
motion. 

Discussion would sometimes wax 
violent in the President's presence. 
Then he himself would give way to 
vehemence, speaking excitedly and, with 
brusque movements and angry words, 
displaying all his original impetuosity 
of character. But, when one of the 
members called his attention to his 
excited attitude , the President never 
failed at once to perceive and honestly 
to acknowledge his error. 

At such moments, Danie Wolmarans' 
attitude, at the time when he was still 
a member of the Volksraad, was always 
very creditable: 

"We are here to give our opinion, 
President, and we must do so calmly," 
he once said, after he had listened to 
Com Paul's outburst, standing motion- 
less in his place. 

I at once looked towards His Honour, 
whom this quick observation had sud- 
denly calmed. It was a grand moment: 
the President felt sorry for his loss of 
self-control, and Danie had succeeded 
in striking the exact note which gave 
evidence of his resolution and, at the 
same time, of his respect for the person 
of Oom Paul and of the venerable 
Head of the State. 

It did not often happen that a 
Government motion defended by the 
President was rejected; but it happened 
often enough to give the lie to the 
contention that His Honour held the 
Volksraad in leading-strings. I re- 
member once seeing the President very 



sore after a defeat, and hearing him 
speak with genuine regret of the 
refusal of the Raad to accept one of 
his proposals. It was when the Gov- 
ernment, at the end of the Session of 
1898, in the course of the revision of 
the Constitution, bad proposed to repeal 
the restrictions touching the religious 
qualifications for members of the Volks- 
raad , public officials, etc. The First 
Raad wished first to consult the con- 
stituencies in the matter of this con- 
cession , whereas the President wanted 
to see his bill passed forthwith. 

His voice sounded more urgently 
that day than I had ever heard it: 
pleading and almost weak. But the 
Raad stood by its resolve. The Presi- 
dent strove to justify his arguments, 
but his usually so loud and growling 
voice was so sad as to impress the 
members, who came up to him in the 
dinner-hour with a "we couldn't do 
other than we did, President". 

What a mighty, wonderful in- 
fluence was Oom Paul's in the Volks- 
raad , and how well he knew how to 
exercise that influence for good in 
matters of importance, and, thanks to 
his superiority, to obtain that to which 
others could not so easily have brought 
the Volksraad to consent! Though the 
people now and then became stubborn 
through the shameless exploiting of 
"grievances," Oom Paul remained ever 
the same and strove to remove those 
grievances where he could. This would 
cost him trouble, exertion and care; 
but his iron will triumphed in the end. 

One of the measures to which the 



Hi 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



people were strongly opposed at the 
commencement was the bill which 
provided that, in the schools in the 
Gold Fields, the instruction in the four 
upper classes should be in English. The 
people did not understand this measure 
and regarded it as an insult to the 
national tongue. Besides, the shameless 
treachery of the Jameson Raid of 
December 1895 was too recent in 
their memories when the proposition 
was laid before the people for their 
approval. But President Kruger was 
able to combat and remove all pre- 
judices. He defended Dr. Mansvelt's 
Gold Fields Education Bill with all his 
enthusiasm and persuasive power, and 
slowly , after many explosions , the 
people became reconciled to the idea. 
The bill was passed unanimously, 
without discussion. 

President Kruger received no thanks 
from the English. On the contrary, 
shortly before the South African diffi- 
culties, Mr. Chamberlain declared that, 
in the South African Republic, in- 
struction was given only in Dutch in 
the Government schools. The only 
thanks uttered were the straightforward 
words of Mr. Carl Jeppe, the Member 
for Johannesburg , who , after the bill 
had been passed, said: 

"In the name of the inhabitants of 
the Gold Fields, I thank the Government 
and the Superintendent of Education 
(Dr. Mansvelt) for what they have clone, 
through this bill, for the Outlanders of 
the Gold Fields." 

The law regulating the establishment 
and maintenance of the Johannesburg 
Municipality also owes its existence 
mainly to the President's influence. 
The Second Volksraad and the people 
behind it saw in this plan a disguised 
carrying into effect of Chamberlain's 
Home Rule scheme for the Witwaters- 
rand. Even near members of Oom 
Paul's family, persons who visited his 
house daily, were among the most 
violent agitators against this plan. 



The President had foreseen this 
opposition and continued, both in public 
and in the home circle, so energetically 
and indefatigably to defend the idea that 
at last he won his cause after he had 
pleaded it in the Second Volksraad also. 

The instances here quoted are those 
in which the Head of the State had 
to battle most strenuously against 
various currents. I could add hundreds 
of cases of a less important character. 
But I think I have shown sufficiently 
that President Kruger always strove to 
meet the Outlanders, and that, even 
where the latter had spoiled the ground, 
he smoothed it again with all the might 
of his will, his character and his 
influence with his people. 

After the raid at Derdepoort in the 
Rustenburg District, on the 25th of No- 
vember 1899, at which eleven members 
of the President's family were murdered 
by the Linchwe Kaffirs, I again called 
upon His Honour. Mrs. Kruger was 
utterly crushed. The President himself 
suppressed both sorrow and indignation, 
in order to discuss plans with the 
Executive Raad to put a stop to 
these murders. He forced himself to 
preserve an outward calm and was the 
most composed of them all. Piet 
Grobler and Hans Malan, his grandsons, 
who were born in the Rustenburg 
District, were excited and thought only 
of reprisals. The President assured 
them that the Linchwe Kaffirs should 
be punished, but that the time was not 
yet come. 

There you have the President: 
immovable, firm in council, calm and 
sensitive. A mighty influence proceeded 
from him and electrified all his surround- 
ings, all his people. That influence 
showed itself notably in this long and 
anxious time of struggle. Full of 
confidence in God, Who alone could 
save His people, he continued to believe, 
resigned to defeat, thankful for victory. 

He, the man who had shared all 
the weal and woe of his people from 




COINS OP THE SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC. 1 and 2 are bronze, 3 to 8 silver, !) anil 10 
gold. During the war, unstamped gold coins were in circulation. 



48 



EEROES OF THE BOER WAR 




PRESIDENT KRUGER ON THE VERANDAH OF HIS HOUSE AT PRETORIA. Here, 
at six o'clock in the morning, every caller was welcome. 



his early youth, was forced to leave 
his country. His age, his failing eye- 
sight prevented him from fighting 
amid his Transvaalers as he did in 
1880. He was obliged to live far from 
his wife, far from his house, in a 
strange, chilly country, not all whose 



sympathy could alleviate his pain. He 
could do no more for his country and 
his people but pray the live-long day. 
Those who have known Kruger, the 
indefatigable thinker and worker, at 
Pretoria, cannot now picture his sorrowful 
existence. His Bible is his only 



OOM PAUL AND TANTE 8ANNA. 



49 



consolation: in Holland, the Good Book 
never left his side. It is thence that 
he draws his strength. 

And Mrs. Kruger shared her husband's 
conviction. When Mrs. A. D.W.Wolmarans 
arrived in Holland from Pretoria, she 
brought the grand old Kruger his 
wife's assurance that she continued to 
believe in the triumph of the republican 
arms 

Oom Paul did not, however, like 
the late General Joubert, stand in need 
of the stimulation and encouragement 
of his wife, however dear she might 
be to him. He, with his giant nature, 
was in every respect the stronger. 
And yet he found it difficult to do 
without Tante Sanna, as Mrs. Kruger 
was called : her care, her devotion, 
her old and tried dependence were so 
dear to him. Nevertheless, he kept his 
wife and politics apart, and would never 
go to her for advice in affairs of State, 
as Oom Piet nearly always did to Mrs. 
Joubert. 

Tante Sanna derived her strength 
and her confidence from her husband, 
and, next to her religion, it was his 
resignation that gave her the courage 
to bear the heavy losses which the 
war had brought her. She was admir- 
able in the way in which she looked 
up to her husband and leant upon 
his strength. 

She was dejected when the news 
came that, in one of the early engage- 
ments, ten of our burghers had been 
killed. She still regarded the war in 
the light of our old Kaffir fights, 
where the Boers suffered hardly auy 
loss, and, when Oom Paul observed 
that she could think herself lucky if 
the struggle did not cost 10,000 men, 
she was silent and something seemed 
to break within her. Not till that 
moment had she realized what this war 
was to mean. 

She bore the death and maiming 
of her children and grand-children with 
resignation, for the sake of her countrv; 



but the capture of two of her grand- 
sons was long kept secret from her by 
the President, because she, like most 
Boers and Boer women, had more dread 
of the fate of a prisoner of war than 
of death on the battle-field. 

In former years, Tante Sanna had 
shared all dangers with her husband. She 
bore all his sorrows with him, even 
though she often did not know their 
nature and only read them in his face. 
She loved her country as well as he, 
she knew her people as well as he 
does. 

I have been unable to picture 
President Kruger without Tante Sanna. 
Each was the other's complement: he 
iron in body and mind, she weak, with 
her belief, firm as a rock, in him, with 
her cares, which she is no longer able 
to give him. She died at Pretoria on 
the 19 th of July 1901. 




THE DOPPER CHURCH AT PBETOBIA. 

Immediately opposite the President's house , in 
Church Street West, stands this church, built of 
cheerful red brick adorned with sandstone. Here 
President Kruger himself has often mounted the 
pulpit to speak of God's Word to the cougre- 
gation. The edifice was known in every-day 
conversation as the "President's Church." It 
was built in 1897, President Kruger contributing 

I III. IIDII to the .-(.St. 




M. T. STEIJN, 

PRESIDENT OF THE OKANGE EREE STATE. 



CHAPTER V. 



PRESIDENT M. T. STEIJN. 



LIKE the late President Brand, Pre- 
sident Steijn felt as much at home 
in the dwelling of the poorest Boer as 
in his own circle. When Steijn was 
still a judge and went on circuit, he 
loved to go and rest in the simple 
dwellings where the Boer complained 
to him of the drought and the locusts 
and the wife talked to him of the 
neighbours and the "folk." 1 To hold 
simple converse with these people was 
to him a relief from his official duties. 
He talked politics with them, learnt 
their ideas, their needs, and always 
showed himself the born Africander, 
free of all pride in his superior know- 
ledge. 

To this intercourse the President 
owed the fact that he was well-known 
throughout his country and that he 
remained simply "Teunis" even after he 
had been elected Head of the Orange 
Free State. Almost every Boer knew 

1 The Kaffirs. 



Steijn personally, and found it difficult 
to talk of the "President," as is custom- 
ary. 

This wide-spread acquaintance, how- 
ever, had its disadvantages. The 
burgher who had a complaint to make 
against the commissariat which refused 
him a new suit of clothes, or the 
commandant who refused to give him 
leave, made his way to Bloemfontein 
and laid his grievance before "Teunis," 
as he used to do in his own house. 
The complainant was not justified as 
against his superior: that would have 
undermined prestige; but he never 
went away uncomforted. If the Head 
of the State only knew of it, changes 
would be made. And then the Presi- 
dent had such a fatherly way of soothing 
and consoling that most of the mal- 
contents derived a sense of resignation 
from it and left the house with the 
conviction that things were not so bad 
after all and that, as a matter of fact, 
the commissariat or the commandant was 



52 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



in the right. But the hearing of all these 
tales cost the President a great deal of time, 
so that he generally had to work till 
late at night. 

The advantage of this personal 
acquaintanceship was that Steijn, who 
was a quick and excellent judge of 
character, knew the good and bad 
qualities of all his officers. This was 
the reason why his choice of command- 
ers was usually so excellent. This was 
the reason why he was able to state 
with decision that such and such a 
commandant was not fit for his post. 
This was the reason why he could deprive 
an officer of his rank in the full con- 
viction that he was doing right, as he 
did on several occasions, by virtue of 
the powers given him by the Consti- 
tution. 

The President was very rarely 
mistaken. He discovered new talents, 
and predicted the incapacity of command- 
ers in whom the burghers had the 
firmest confidence. De Wet and Hertzog 
are instances of men upon whom he 
depended when no one else as yet saw 
anything in them. His knowledge of 
character, of course, became more exten- 
sive since, and we may taken it for 
granted that he gathered the best coun- 
cillors around him, just as De Wet 
placed the strongest personalities at the 
head of the several commandoes from 
the moment when the appointment ot 
all officers was placed in the hands of 
the chief commandant and no longer 
left to the choice of the burghers. 

Steijn himself is the personification 
of loyalty and honour. He is a loyal 
burgher of his country, a loyal patriot, 
a loyal friend. No matter how high he 
might rise, his old friends, who had 
been unable to follow him in his ascent 
of the social ladder, could always reckon 
on his affection. Loyalty and honour 
have marked all his actions: his sacred 
will to carry out his political programme; 
his determination to take up the rifle 
when the need was so urgent that the 



country required the help of all, from 
the highest to the lowest burgher; his 
noble last attempt to ensure peace, when 
war seemed no longer to be averted and 
when he conducted his masterly corre- 
spondence with the High Commissioner 
at Cape Town. 

He never allowed himself to be led 
away by exasperation. He kept his 
head cool during all the difficult days 
from May 1899 to the outbreak of the 
war. Had there been but one chance of 
arriving at an honourable solution of the 
difficulties, he would have seized upon 
it and employed his powerful influence 
in that direction. 

He never showed himself hostile to 
the English race; on the contrary, he 
entertained friendly feelings for it, how- 
ever true and genuine an Africander 
he may be. He was the man who, 
with his European education, his know- 
ledge of the character of Boer and 
Briton, could have brought about 
the amalgamation of the two races in 
South Africa. There was nothing he 
would have rather seen. His loyalty 
and honour, his lofty character pointed 
to him as the right intermediary be- 
tween Africander and Englishman. The 
truth and honesty of his convictions 
never gave cause for suspicion. And 
now this man has been the soul of the 
Africander resistance to the British rule. 
His respect for Great Britain, his belief 
in England's generosity: these he has 
lost for ever. 

He was never a daring optimist, like 
his predecessor, Reitz. He foresaw that 
there would be reverses. They did not 
come upon him unexpectedly; and his 
calm, firm belief in the greatness of 
Africanderdom remained unshaken, even 
in the face of uncontemplated disaster. 

During his short political career, 
President Steijn showed himself to be 
a statesman who desired the progress 
of his country and who was able to 
further that progress. Under his govern- 
ment, bills were passed for the institution 



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HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



THE ORANGE FREE STATE NATIONAL ANTHEM. 



Tempo >li marcia 



Words by H. A. L. HAMELBERG. 
Music by W. F. G. NICOLAI. 
Translation by E. J. 



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PRESIDENT M. T. STEIJN. 



55 



From small things though our Land arose, 
We boldly face the Future's throes: 

To God our eyes we raise, 
Who trust Him as a strong fortress, 
Who build on Him, fear no distress, 

Whom never storm dismays. 



6. 
Into our hearts do Thou inspire 
A warm and pure religious lire; 

And make us, here on earth, 
The battle-field for life above, 
Grow t<> deserve that life of love, 

Of happiness and worth. 



Afire with love for our dear land, 
We march as brothers hand in hand 

Through Fortune's smiles or stress. 
In trust and honour firmly bound, 
As brothers we most surely found 

The nation's happiness. 



Should insolence our honour slight, 
Or violence drive us to the fight, 

Our tempered steel to prove, 
Then go we forth as lions bold: 
Our blood and goods as nought we hold 

Beside the Land we love. 



Protect, God, our country's Raad; 
Wisdom divine to it impart, 

Led by Thy father-hand, 
So that its works may hallowed be 
And blessed to the commonalty 

And our dear mother-land. 



Thy mercy and Thy love accord 
To our dear President, O Lord; 

Let him through Thee be great. 
The duties which shall on him rest 
May he discharge with trust and zest 

For weal of folk and State. 



With God for folk and fatherland! 
This war-cry strengthens aye our hand 

Even in the hottest fray. 
The man who thus to arms doth fly 
Has God, his buckler, him anigh, 

Is sure to gain the day. 

9. 
Then hail, thrice hail to our country, 
Folk, President, Raad in unity! 

Even as in our song, 
May the Free State and all its folk, 
Free from corroding vice's yoke, 

Flourish for ages long. 



and maintenance of technical schools, 
a model farm and an agricultural 
experimental station. 

After deliberation with the German 
Government, he secured the services of 
an excellent economist, a German civil 
servant, for the establishment of the 
model farm. And, whenever this offi- 
cial had to combat the antipathy of 
some of the Boers for such novelties 
and for all that smacked of theory, it 
was President Steijn who supported the 
economist, arranged everything accord- 
ing to his wishes, and made him forget 
any unpleasantness by his personal 
kindness. 

It was the same with the govern- 
ment veterinary surgeon, also a German; 
the same with the rest of the European 
officials. The President was their re- 
fuge and their consolation. If this un- 
happy war had never broken out, 
through Steijn's influence a net-w r ork 
of railways would have been built, 



which would have made the eastern 
districts the granary of all South Africa. 

In peace and in war, Steijn has 
shown himself a great man, a noble 
man. 

In spite of his European education, 
his easy ways, his pleasant manners, 
which made him a welcome guest and 
a popular host, he remained faithful to 
the simple manners and customs of his 
people. The mode of life was as plain 
in Steijn's presidential residence at 
Bloemfontein as in Kruger's house at 
Pretoria. Steijn's house too was open 
to every burgher. It was also the 
meeting -place of the patres conscripti, 
who came there to read and chat and 
smoke when the business of the State 
was done. His doors were always wide 
open for foreign visitors, even as his 
glance is open for all, as his honest 
eyes reflect his loyal soul. 

But, with all his simplicity, he showed 
an innate distinction. His tall, broad 

6* 



56 



HEROES OF THE BOEB WAR. 



figure, his bearing - , his movements mark 
him out at once as an uncommon man. 
He is never lost in a crowd; on the 
contrary, the crowd as it were groups 
itself around him. 

The mutual relations between the 
two Presidents were curious and inter- 
esting. Kruger was the simple Boer, 
grown grey in politics, hardened by a 
life full of cares, privation and suffering. 
Steijn was the educated, cultured man 
of Europe. One had studied in the 
school of theory, the other in that of 
harsh practice. Steijn was the typical 
representative of the younger Africander 
generation which was one day to hold 
sway; Kruger the venerable type of the 
sturdy founders of two free nations. 

Steijn showed his respect and esteem 
for his grey-haired colleague. Whenever 
he and the aged Kruger met, Steijn 
would surround the latter with all the 
care of a son for his old father. When 
Kruger groped about painfully with his 
hands and peered with difficulty from 
between his swollen eye-lids, it was 
President Steijn who would be the first 
to spring from his chair and ask: 

"What's President looking for?" 

With touching care and gentleness, 
he would give Oom Paul his arm to 
help him in or out of his carriage, and, 
Avhen the old President spoke, the 
younger listened with genuine respect 
and unfeigned attention. 

The great love of both for their 
country and people had brought them 
so close together, those two men so 
different in character and training. In 
the sorrowful days of the Bloemfontein 
Conference, the young President was 
the elder's consolation. In those days, 
their friendship grew into a life-long 
sympathy. 

There are some who call it folly 
for the Orange Free State to have 
thrown in her lot in the war with the 
South African Republic. Even some 
Free Staters were of this opinion, 
especially when the fortunes of war 



began to turn against the Boer. With 
the "hands-uppers," President Steijn was 
always to blame, if the word blame 
may be spoken in this connection. 
Those Free Staters forgot that the 
offensive and defensive alliance con- 
cluded with the South African Republic 
after the Jameson Raid bound both 
republics mutually to stand by one 
another in case of war. They forgot 
that the great majority of the people 
of the Orange Free State and the South 
African Republic had charged the ex- 
ecutives of both States to contract this 
bond. They forgot that, before the 
outbreak of hostilities, the legislators 
of the Free State had gone twice to 
ask the opinion of their constituents, 
and that these, with the exception of 
a very small minority, had unanimously 
declared in favour of aiding the South 
African Republic by force of arms, if 
war should become inevitable 

One can understand that sheer egoists 
condemn the action of the Free State. 
But, wherever lofty and unselfish feel- 
ings are valued, the attitude of the 
Free State will be understood and 
Steijn regarded not as a fool, but as 
the true patriot, who furiously grasps 
the sword when a people of his own 
blood is attacked by a superior enemy, 
when the existence of the Africanders 
is in danger. For none will dare to 
assert that the independence of the Free 
State would not have been doomed so 
soon as the South African Republic 
had become British territory and the 
land between the Vaal and Orange 
Rivers bordered on every side b}* 
British possessions. Apart, therefore, 
from all questions of sentiment, the 
resolve of the Free State to remain 
free or to perish with the Transvaal is 
to be defended from a purely political 
point of view. 

Steijn's noble figure stands out pro- 
minently in the late contest. Even 
Europe intuitively felt that he was the 
soul of this heroic struggle of a small 



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58 



BEROES OF THE BOEK WAR. 




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people for its inde- 
pendence, and the 
opponents of his 
federal policy whole- 
heartedly acknow- 
ledged his notable 
adhesion to principles 
for which he might 
any day have been 
called upon to sa- 
crifice his life. 

And yet his train- 
ing was not such 
as to inure him to 
all the hardships 
which he suffered and 
is now suffering. At 
an early age, he left 
his country to qualify 
as a lawyer in Hol- 
land, but was called 
to the bar in Lon- 
don. On his return 
to the Free State, 
he set up as a bar- 
rister, was appointed 
a judge and, in 1896, 
elected State Presi- 
dent. The greater 
part of his life, there- 
fore, has been spent 
not on the veldt and 
in the open air, but 
in offices and law- 
courts. 

It is a regrettable 
but, alas, an unde- 
niable symptom that 
many Republicans 
who enjoyed a cer- 
tain measure of 
prosperity abandoned 
the contest so soon 
as their own property 
was in danger. Many 
of these well-to-do 
burghers had all 
the self-sufficiency 
of the moneyed 
class and lacked the 



PEESIDENT M. T. STEIJN. 



59 



spirit and power of endurance of the 
ordinary Boers. Not so with President 
Steijn. Cheerfully, on his departure 
from Bloemfontein, on the evening of 
the 12th of March 1900, he left all 
his comforts, all his possessions behind 
him. This was the first material sacri- 
fice which his country, his people, his 
liberty demanded of him, and he joy- 
fully accepted his fate. After the occup- 
ation of Kroonstad (12 May 1900), a 
life of privation and wretchedness 
commenced for him. But he retained 
his spirits and, in adversity, set an 
example to his burghers by the majesty 
with which he bore all blows. He 
compelled respect and admiration, and 
in the Transvaal and Orange Free State 
they believed in him as the man of 
the future. 

All who have lately returned from 
the Free State bear enthusiastic witness 
to the nobility of Steijn's figure in the 
midst of all these hardships. Calm, 
full of confidence in the future , he 
continued with unshakable courage to 
fight the good fight. He accepted dis- 
aster and reverses with resignation and 
good humour. Victories and successes 
filled him with calm gratitude. And 
ever he showed himself the first burgher 
in the land. He maintained his author- 
ity with natural dignity. The civil 
government was in his hands, and he 
endeavoured , in spite of the difficult 
circumstances, to keep up the model 
government which the Free State has 
always enjoyed. He remained the refuge 
of those who sought for justice, the 
umpire of his subordinates, the father 
of his burghers, the father of his 
country. 

And an unhappy accident suddenly 
broke the strength of this South Afric- 



an Washington. A sunstroke brought 
on an attack of paralysis, and, on 
arriving, on the 9th of April 1902, 
at Klerksdorp, where the conference 
with the Transvaal Government was 
to take place, he received news thai 
his wife was lying seriously ill with 
typhoid at Bloemfontein. Truly, Presi- 
dent Steijn has been sorely tried: he 
has been compelled to abandon the 
ideal of freedom for which he fought 
for nearly three years; he is perhaps 
broken in health for life. 

May a consoling ray of light still 
break in upon the gloomy darkness 
which surrounds this great and noble 
figure! Such an end as that which now 
threatens a grand career surpasses 
tragedy. 




commandant IV fc'OUElE of the Freestate 




Dr. W. J. LEIJDS, 

ENVOY EXTRAORDINARY AND MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY OE THE SOUTH 
AFRICAN REPUBLIC IN EUROPE. 



CHAPTER VI. 



DR. W. J. LEIJDS. 



"XX7E rusli into friendships on wings 
^' when we are young, we go towards 
them on crutches as we grow old." 

So spoke Dr. Leijds during the 
dinner which some intimate friends 
gave in his honour at the Grand Hotel 
at Pretoria, just before his departure 
for Europe as Envoy Extraordinary 
and Minister Plenipotentiary of the 
South African Republic. 

It was not a very large assembly 
that sat down to dinner. Among 
those present were high-placed officials 
and simple burghers, faithful friends 
all, who did not flatter Dr. Leijds from 
self-seeking motives, nor seek his society 
merely to be able to boast of his 
acquaintance. 

Before he filled the high and re- 
sponsible position of State Secretary, all 
could approach Dr. Leijds who desired 
to know him. Those who sought 
him then did so for his own sake 
alone; there was no need to question 
their motives or distrust their sympathy. 



But, when he rose in importance and 
influence, he began to lose his blind 
faith in humanity, to enquire into 
motives and to probe protestations. Un- 
fortunately for him, a trusted friend 
had, at the very outset of his political 
career, abused his confidence and shaken 
his belief in the honesty of human 
nature. 

In later years, he lost another friend 
through the firmness with which he 
adhered to the cause he had sworn to 
defend. He was taught by sad experien- 
ces the value of unselfish, sincere and 
honest friendship. Although his experi- 
ences did not make him a misanthrope, 
they saddened his whole life, changed 
the young, high-spirited man, whose 
heart beat in quick response to every 
noble thought and ideal image, into the 
serious man with the melancholy eyes; 
the deep sadness in their expression would 
strike you the instant you encountered 
them, and haunt you for long after. 
His flatterers increased in numbers: so 



62 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR, 



did his enemies; and his heart grew 
cold, but never to those whom he had 
proved his trusted friends. He repaid 
their devotion by an equally strong 
attachment, for he looked upon true 
friendship as the greatest gift this 
world could give. 

His wife and children followed him 
abroad: they were all that remained of 
home; but it was an open question if 
his difficult task in Europe would allow 
him leisure to devote himself to his 



in a fresh atmosphere of sincerity. 
Those were literally "stolen moments" 
which he was able now and then to 
devote to his wife, his son and his 
little daughter. He felt this keenly, 
more than he allowed himself to show; 
for Dr. Leijds is a most devoted hus- 
band and an affectionate father. When 
at Pretoria, he spent every minute he 
could spare with his family. 

He showed to the greatest advant- 
age in his domestic relations, when he 




GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS AT PRETORIA. These buildings contained the offices of the 
State officials, as well as the Chambers in which the representatives of the nation used to hold their 
sessions. The raised flag shows that the Chambers were sitting when the photograph was 
taken. At that moment, 10.45 a.m., several members were on the balcony, engaged iu earnest 
conversation during the quarter of an hour's respite allowed them from their labours. 



family. Time showed that it did not. 
During Dr. Leijds's residence in 
Brussels, his duties kept him in close 
attendance at the office, and, in his 
capacity of ambassador, his absences 
were long and frequent. And I can 
easily understand that he, the man who, 
by the aid of his own talents, mounted 
to the position of eminence which he 
filled, must often have longed to flee 
the world of flatterers, to find, in the 
intimacy of the home circle, a peaceful, 
genuine affection, to breathe once more 



could throw aside the trammels of his 
official life and be a child among his 
children. Dr. Leijds and his wife have 
succeeded in suppressing in their children 
any sign of arrogance or self-conceit 
which might so easily have shown it- 
self in them. He brings them up 
strictly. They worship him; to them 
the father is hero, teacher, friend. He 
watches over the progress of their edu- 
cation, takes the greatest pleasure in 
talking to them on subjects likely to 
interest and instruct them , and the 



DR. W. .1. LEIJDS. 



63 



hours are always only too short which 
they are able to spend in one another's 
society. How they must have missed 
those delightful times during the period 
when he could only spare them a poor 
little quarter of an hour now and again! 
And all he will be able to leave 
them is an unstained and honest name. 
He is as scrupulous as Mr. A. D. W. 
Wolmarans in guarding the unsullied 
integrity of his reputation. Every 
speculator in the Transvaal who was 



is generally understood. His only aim 
was to fulfil his arduous duties to the 
best of his ability. 

He is untiring in his capacity for 
work. When other members of the 
Government had retired for a well-earned 
rest, he would still be found at work 
with his confidential secretary or some 
other official; and anyone who saw the 
quickness with which he dispatched 
business would realize the enormous 
amount of the work he got through. 




THE LAW COURTS AT PRETORIA.. This building was finished just before the 

English occupied Pretoria (5 June 1900), but had never been used. The British turned it 

into a hospital. In a short time, this large building was full of sick and wounded. 



desirous of enriching himself at his 
country's expense will bear witness to 
this. Over and over again, his answer 
to their solicitations has been: 

"Do not reckon on my support; on 
the contrary, be prepared for a deter- 
mined resistance, for I do not consider 
that your proposals are to the advant- 
age of the country." 

Such fearless independence made 
him many enemies among those who 
were always ready to abuse the Trans- 
vaal Government; and he never took 
the slightest pains to render himself 
popular, in the sense in which the word 



Verbosity of speech he held in special 
abhorrence. He understood to perfection 
the art of assuming an air of preoccupa- 
tion when people attempted unwarrant- 
ably to trespass on his time, and he would 
adopt an ultra-formal manner which 
discouraged the most persistent talker. 
His eye seemed to penetrate to the 
very soul of the person with whom he 
was conversing, stripping speech of its 
superficialities and often getting nearer 
the core than the speaker intended. 
Pretence and insincerity shrank away 
abashed, when brought face to face with 
this silent man, whose virile face showed 



64 



HKROKS OF TI1K 1JOK1! WAli 




DASPOORT, near Pretoria, on the Pietersburg line. "Poort" 
is the name given by the Africanders to aDy natural passage 
between two mountains. The railway, which is hewn out of 
the rock, offers a number of picturesque views. Pretoria lies 
in a basin surrounded by mountains, which only afford narrow 
entrances to the town. One of the five forts for the defence 
of Pretoria stands at Daspoort. 



Hotel 
stayed 
wife's 
used a 



no trace of the thoughts which moved 
his mind. His answers to all business 
questions were always so much to the 
point that they needed no further 
explanation; if there were no answer, a 
polite word or two cut the matter short. 

A Transvaal secretary of State 
needed more time to accomplish thirty 
or forty steps than the rest of mankind 
require for a walk of many miles. 
State Secretary Reitz once gave me a 
most amusing description of incidents 
that happened to him during a walk 
from his office to the stairs (about fifty 
paces) : it took an hour. He was besieged 
at every step by people desirous of 
speaking with him and detaining him. 

Dr. Leijds always showed great tact 
in suppressing importunate persons. He 



walked past with an appearance 
of such unapproachableness that 
the most undaunted became 
abashed and , in many cases, 
went away without having found 
courage to proffer their requests. 
Once outside, he was assailed 
by others who fancied they 
would have a better oppor- 
tunity for their proposals and 
their gossip by waiting and way- 
laying him outside than if they 
went to the office. If many of 
these gentry were loitering about, 
Dr. Leijds left the office by a 
private door. At the Grand 
at Pretoria, where he 
for a time during his 
absence in Europe, he 
special door by which 
to escape the importunate. 

Outside business-hours, Dr. 
Leijds was a most charming 
companion and an interesting 
conversationalist, who laid aside 
all bureaucratic formality with 
his frock-coat. 

Next to President Kruger. 
it was Dr. Leijds who cried an 
emphatic ''Halt'' to Mr. Cham- 
berlain's political presumption: 
what Oom Paul felt his State 
Secretary put into very convincing 
shape. His clever lead showed the 
Executive Raad where they might follow 
and skate lightly over the thin ice of 
existing difficulties. 

The grey- haired President felt for 
Dr. Leijds an admiring respect, which 
he never lost an opportunity of ac- 
knowledging by word and deed. When 
the latter, in 1897, returned from Europe, 
where he had gone for reasons of 
health, Oom Paul drove down to the 
station in person to receive his first 
and most valued official. 

It is easily understood that the 
activities of a diplomatist are no subject 
for the town-crier. The extent and 
exigencies of his very arduous task can 



and 



DR. W. J. LEIJDS. 



65 



never be appreciated to their full extent 
by the outside world. However, as the 
President, in his speech at the open- 
ing of the Volksraad in 1809, expressed 
his full approval of the exertions of the 
embassy of the South African Republic, 
Ave may rest assured that Dr. Leijds's 
efforts, in spite of all difficulties, were 
often crowned with success. 

Another proof was the unanimous 
"reinstallation" of the Embassy, the first 
institution of which, in 1898, was 
carried by only a small majority after 
a heated debate. 

The sole recreation which Dr. Leijds 
permitted himself in his difficult vocation 
was music. He plays the 'cello exceedingly 
well, and is a passionate lover of the 
musical art. He delights in taking 
part in string quartettes at home. When 
I last met him, he mentioned with regret 
that, during the whole time of his embassy, 



he had not once been able to take up 
the bow. Ardent lovers of music will 
understand what such a privation must 
have meant to an enthusiast. 

His life was one continual course 
of uninterrupted work, care and endeav- 
our; but his will-power and virility 
carried him through triumphantly. He 
sacrificed everything to his sense of 
duty, although he gained in return 
nothing but the thanks and appreciation 
of the Government; for the others did 
not see the fruits of his activity. Dis- 
illusionment, opposition and calumny 
were his portion. But, even as his 
brother Boers were determined fight to 
the last, so was he, as their Ambassador 
in Europe, upheld by the integrity of 
his motives and his love for his country, 
resolved to strive against the intrigues 
and treacheries of his adversaries until 
all was either won or lost. 




THE NEW ARCA.DIA BRIDGE AT PRETORIA. This bridge, always called the Lion 
Bridge for convenience' sake, connects the old town with Arcadia, one of its suburbs. 
Arcadia and Sunnyside are the two quarters which spread most quickly, one pretty villa 
rising after the other. Here the wealthier inhabitants of the capital resided. The Arcadia 
Bridge forms the end of Church Street East, which begins at the Church Square. 




A. D. W. WOLMARANS, 

FORMERLY A MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE RAAD OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN 

REPUBLIC AND ALSO OF THE SPECIAL EMBASSY OF THE TWO 

REPUBLICS. 



CHAPTER VII. 



A. D. W. WOLMARANS 



^EXT to President Kruger, A. D. W. 
-^ Wolmarans was the most important 
figure in the Transvaal political world: 
a man of determined will, of extra- 
ordinarily clear insight into difficult 
questions, coupled with an amount of 
common-sense that compelled respect, 
with an innate oratorical talent, a general 
ascendancy over his fellows and great 
diplomatic gifts. He was Oom Paul's 
right hand, and the only man who 
could beat "Slim Piet" Joubert in 
debate. 

A. D. W. Wolmarans is known in 
every-day life as "A. D. W." or "Danie." 
There is but one "Danie," and that is 
Danie Wolmarans. If you mentioned 
that name in the South African Republic, 
everyone would know that you meant no 
other than the Member of the Executive 
Raad, although he owns his Christian 
name in common with thousands in 
South Africa and with numbers of 
political people. 

He was one of the first persons 



with whom I became acquainted in the 
Transvaal, and, during all the years 
of my stay in the country, I do not 
remember to have seen him laugh 
three times. Political troubles and 
difficulties have made him so serious 
as to deprive him of all cheerfulness. 
Danie is a pessimist. Yet this is the 
reason why he does everything with 
all the application which he can devote 
to it. His pessimism comes from his long 
political career as a member of the 
Legislative Body , where more was 
demanded of him than of all the rest 
of the Volksraad together. It is also a 
result of indifferent health. 

As a member of our legislature, 
Danie's influence was so great that it 
was exceptional for his proposals not 
to be accepted. No committee was chosen 
but Danie sat on it and became its 
chairman and its very soul. His speeches 
were followed attentively by all the 
members, and never failed to influence 
the further course of debate. His voice 



68 



HEROES OF THE BOEE WAR. 



is not tine, but it is powerful; and, 
although the turn of his phrases is 
not above reproach, his language is 
pithy and forcible, and his expression 
persuasive, full of fire and conviction. 
He could often be very sharp. He 
always had a retort ready, and he 
knew how to place his proposals in so 
attractive a light that, though his 
adversary felt certain of the victory, 
Danie invariably succeeded in diverting 
at least some of his adherents. 

I have heard him press the late 
Dr. H. J. Coster, at that time State 
Attorney, so hard that the latter had 
to confess that his advice had been 
unsound. As a result of all this, there 
was none but entertained a profound 
respect for A. D. W.'s powerful and 
lucid common-sense. 

Danie is a fanatic. R. K. Loveday, 
Member of the First Raad for the 
Barberton District, always found in him 
an enemy who was too strong for him. 
Loveday remained an Englishman at 
heart and cared nothing for the in- 
dependence of which A. D. W. was the 
vigorous defender. Wolmarans felt 



instinctively that, in the erstwhile 
Briton, the country possessed an un- 
commonly crafty and cautious enemy, 
who, under the pretence of promoting 
progress, worked into the hands of the 
capitalists and constantly sided with 
the sowers of discord. Hence Danie's 
often too violent hatred for his colleague, 
a hatred to which many a page in 
the minutes of the First Volksraad 
bears witness. 

Still, Danie was no persecutor of 
the British, as the words show which 
he addressed to me when I met him 
lately at the Hague and he told me 
how the English had treated the Avomen 
and children: 

u You would almost hate all the 
English after that." 

So that he still draws a distinction 
between the honest and the perfidious 
English. 

In all questions of importance, 
President Kruger found a powerful 
assistance in Danie Wolmarans. While 
he remained a member of the First 
Volksraad, all, even the most desperate, 
attempts to take over the Netherlands 




LOADING UP AMMUNITION FOR THE TRANSVAAL ARTILLERY. The Boer is 

never at a loss : if there are no oxen to move his waggon, he does it himself. They are 

strong iron-fisted fellows, those giants of South Africa. 



A. D. W. WOLMAkANS. 



69 



South African Railway Company, before 
the Government was in a position itself 
to work it satisfactorily, were frustrated ; 
and, in the same way, all motions to 
cancel dynamite -concessions, in cases 
where no breach of contract could be 
proved, were rejected. A. D. W. was 
for progress, but for gradual progress, 
not head over heels. "Look before you 
leap" was always his motto. 

General Joubert acknowledged 
Danie's superiority. The general 
seldom appeared in the Volksraad. 
He only put in an appearance 
when he was sent for or when 
the debate involved some matter 
of importance. In opinion he was 
generally diametrically opposed to 
A. D. W. and his followers. "Slim 
Piet" had a habit of sitting calmly 
in his chair and playing with a 
sheet of paper on his desk before 
him, when attacked by any other 
than Danie Wolmarans. No sooner 
did the latter rise, however, than 
the general turned his head towards 
the speaker, only looking down 
occasionally to take a note for his 
reply. This reply was usually 
far from pleasant. Still I have 
never seen the g-eneral emerge 
victorious from one of those 
wordy contests, although he was 
considered an excellent debater. 

Schalk Willem Burger, who 
was an even older Member of the 
Executive Raad than Danie, always 
took sides with Joubert and, with him, 
constituted the power in our Government; 
this came to an end, however, so soon 
as Danie, with his much more brillant 
qualities, was elected to the Executive 
Raad. In proportion as Schalk Burger, 
who clung convulsively to General 
Joubert, lost his influence, A. D. W. 
became the same strong personality 
in the governing body that he had, for 
so many years, been in the legislative 
body, the First Volksraad. 

Politically, Schalk Burger did not 



gain by his election as a member of the 
Executive Raad, whereas Danie did. 
The former was better suited as Chair- 
man of the First Volksraad, while the 
latter maintained his personality in his 
new career: Schalk Burger failed in 
this and lost his personal independence. 
I remember hearing Dr. Leijds say, 
at his farewell dinner at Pretoria, when 
about to proceed to Europe as Minister 




SCHALK WILLEM BURGER. 

Plenipotentiary of the Transvaal, that 
he had never endeavoured to make 
himself popular. This is as true of 
Danie. He is polite, but a man of 
few words. To win anyone's favour, or 
to make a good impression by means of 
exceptional civility, does not lie in his 
nature. He is passionate and sometimes 
bitter in his passion. This fact, combined 
with his continuous success and his 
great influence, procured him enemies 
and jealousies in the Volksraad. It is 
due to this that he was never elected 



70 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



Chairman, although he was undoubtedly 
the ablest of the members and had been 
Vice-chairman for many years. 

Danie always felt wronged at these 
elections. It was evident that they 
pained him. Still he bore none of his 
fellow-members any grudge. 

No one has ever been able to 
accuse A. D. W. of the very slightest 



alleged to have accepted carriages as 
presents, and this question was raised 
in the Legislature by the accused 
members themselves, Danie stated that 
he too had been offered a carriage 
after the concession had been granted. 
He had refused, because he was of 
opinion that a member of the Raad 
should avoid even a semblance of 
partiality in delivering his vote. Never- 
theless, the members who had accepted 




DEPARTURE OF THE HOLLANDER CORPS FROM PRETORIA: 6 October 1899. 
There was not a foreigner in South Africa, with the exception of the British, who did not 
take side with the Boers when war had once become inevitable. The Hollanders were the 
first to form themselves into a corps, and they rendered invaluable services during the war. 



act of dishonesty. He took scrupulous 
care to keep his name unstained. Anyone 
who knows the habits of the concession- 
hunters in South Africa, their endeavours 
to bribe all and several, can readily 
imagine the offers that Danie must 
have had made to him. But even his 
greatest enemies are bound to allow 
the strictness of his honour. At the 
same time, he was in no way eager to 
condemn others. When the Selati 
Railway Company published its famous 
list of members of the Raad who were 



the gift had not, he thought, rendered 
themselves in any way guilty of corrupt 
conduct in doing so. 

In the early months of the war, 
Danie was President of the Commissariat 
Committee. He used to start work 
at half-past seven or eight in the 
morning and I would often see a light 
in his office-windows late at night: 

"Oom Danie work, so look-out,'' 
the black constable thought it his duty 
to observe to me, as he stood on 
guard before Government Buildings and 



A. I). \Y\ WOLMARANS. 



71 



noticed my glance at the light gleam- 
ing through the drawn blinds. 

In the daytime, I often saw A. D.W. 
in the Church Square examining horses 
or inspecting stubborn mules. If things 
were not going as they should in Natal, 
Danie would pay a visit to the invested 
district, and soon everything was put 
right. 

He was not on commando like 
S chalk Burger. He could hardly be 
spared on the Executive Raad, and not 
at all on the Commissariat. It was 
not until everything was in full working 
order that it became possible to dispatch 
him as a special envoy to Europe. 

"Danie should see something of the 
world; Danie must enlarge his views; 



he is too tenacious of old notions and 
conditions." 

That was the opinion of all admirers 
of A. D. W's talent. Now the war 
brought him his appointment as Envoy 
Extraordinary. He travelled through 
Europe and America, and came into con- 
tact with every manner of man. 

With all its horrors, the war has at 
least done so much good. A. D. W. 
will benefit more by his travels than 
another would; for he is studious and 
has quick powers of observation and 
remarkable perspicacity. He is the 
man of the future, and even Louis 
Botha's successes in the field will not 
be able to injure his reputation in that 
respect. 




CHURCH: SQUARE AT PRETORIA. On great Church festivals, such as Christmas Day, 
Easter, etc., the Boers come to Pretoria in their ox-wagons, pitch their tents in the Cburcb 
Square, and remain for several days. On Christmas and the following day, the large 
Church Square is so crowded that there is scarcely room for a foot-passenger to make his way. 




C. WESSELS, 

.JE FREE STATE D 
THE SPECIAL EMBASSY OF THE TWO REPUBLICS. 



FORMERLY PRESIDENT OF THE FREE STAT EMM GATE SAND A MEMBER OF 



CHAPTER VIII. 



CORNELIS WESSELS. 



pORNELIS Wessels is the typical 
^ South African squire. His house 
was at Bloemfontein, but he preferred 
to live on his estate near the town. 
Fond as he is of riding and hunting, 
he gave every attention to the manage- 
ment of his property. He is a 
"Boer" from top to toe, and proud 
of it. His whole demeanour is charac- 
terized by good breeding and shows 
the sterling qualities of the Africander 
to the best advantage. It is his ambi- 
tion always to perfect himself; his pride 
consists in not being too proud to learn. 
He is thoroughly well-informed on all 
political and economical questions, ab- 
solutely at home in knotty problems 
concerning South Africa, and, with all 
these distractions, he found time to 
manage his estate in such a way as to 
find few or no rivals amongst his fellow 
squires. 

Wessels' father owned the greater 
part of the De Beers property at Kim- 
berley. He sold it for a considerable 
sum. But, in spite of their wealth, the 
Wessels remained thorough Africanders: 
they invested their money in South 



Africa; they bought farms, which they 
worked with the utmost industry and 
care. One of their estates is situated 
at Paardenberg, where Cronje surren- 
dered on the 27th of February 1900. 
The Free State to a great extent owed 
her expansion to their untiring efforts 
for advancement and improvement. Their 
example encouraged others to follow in 
their steps, and, in a comparatively 
short time, the country between the 
Orange and Vaal Rivers excelled all 
others in South Africa in point of 
agriculture and cattle-breeding. The 
Wessels, with their wealth and their 
example, had developed the small sapling 
into a mighty oak. 

In 1898, Cornelis Wessels set out 
on his travels to Europe and America. 
He not only visited the large cities, 
with their treasures of art and culture, 
but lost no opportunity of seeing 
as much as possible of the agricultural 
districts. In this way he gained a 
thorough insight into the husbandry and 
cattle-breeding of foreign countries. He 
bought highly-bred horses and cattle, 
as well as the newest agricultural 




SW 



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la 



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Jo 



CORNELIS WESSELS. 



75 



machinery, and dreamed of countless 
improvements on his estate and of 
putting into practice the inventions of 
Europe and of America. These travels 
gave him insight and added seriousness 
to his naturally earnest mind. He en- 
countered riches and poverty, liberty 
and oppression, the advancement and 
demoralization of whole nations. The 
healthy mind of the strong man gathered 
these impressions and assimilated them. 
And these experiences taught him what 
was incumbent on the Free State: to 
gain and keep the position which was 
her due as one of the most promising 
States in South Africa. 

Wessels had no opportunity of ap- 
plying his knowledge for the advantage 
of his country. Just before the war 
broke out, he was still in Europe. He 
might have remained there in ease and 
luxury, joined by wife and children, 
and stayed abroad until the end of the 
war. But a Wessels is always at his 
post in the hour of danger. He was 
too sincere an Africander, too honest a 
man to hesitate a single instant. He 
returned. Wessels possessed in a great 
degree the power of control, not only, 
as Chairman of the Volksraad, over his 
associates, but, which is much more 
important, over himself. This power 
somehow made itself felt amid the 
greatest parliamentary uproar of con- 
tending factions. He was thus able to 
control the passions which set heart and 
brain on fire and which were but too 
frequently calculated to lead to the most 
disastrous results. 

The Volksraad was no longer sitting; 
so he devoted his power, his time, his 
means and his great gifts to the sacred 
cause for which the Boers were fighting. 
At the call of duty, he left wife, 
daughter and his highly - gifted son, 
the pride of his heart, alone, disconso- 
late and unprotected, not knowing 
whether he might ever see them again 
nor to what dangers they might be 
exposed during his absence. 



He went to Europe as a member 
of the special embassy. Again he trav- 
elled through the Old World and the 
New. He revisited the places he had 
seen during his first journey, where his 
oratorical gifts had full scope, for now 
he was addressing not a few, but thou- 
sands of eager, though not always 
sympathetic listeners; for the opinion 
of many had become biased by the 
wrongful representations in the English 
newspapers. He felt the contrast between 
the first and this second visit most 
keenly. The success of his speeches 
was greatly due to his own fine sen- 
sibilities. To make others feel one must 
feel one's self. His audience were greatly 
moved when, at the thought of the 
wrongs, the oppressions and the cruel- 
ties which his country was enduring, 
his voice rose to a tragic intensity, 
which culminated in Zola's words, 
"J' accuse !" 

To him was entrusted the defence 
of a good cause, and he defended it 
most loyally. He tore off the mask 
from the face of hypocrisy and exposed 
the vile lie in all its hideousness. As he 
drew himself up to his full height, his 
magnificent figure showed to the utmost 
advantage, and there was true dignity 
in gesture and voice, when he pointed 
to the two other delegates and said: 

"We are African Boers whom British 
Jingoism delights in calling barbarian 
and uncivilized savages. We stand 
before you; our brothers are as we are: 
judge you between us and our accusers." 

Wessels has suffered severe pecuniary 
loss in this war. All his thousands of 
oxen, sheep and horses are gone. He 
has not one left. The news arrived a 
year ago that the last five hundred 
head of cattle, which he had sent to 
Cape Colony before the outbreak of 
the war, had been seized by the British 
authorities. Wessels took the news 
calmly. It consoled him that he too 
should in this way pay toll and tribute 
to the mother-land. 




A. FISCHER, 

FflBMFBTY \ MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE RAAD OF THE ORANGE FREE 

STATE AND PRESIDENT OF THE SPECIAL EMBASSY OF THE TWO 

REPUBLICS. 



CHAPTER IX. 



ABRAHAM FISCHER. 



AN amiable man is Mr. Fischer! That 
is the impression which the Special 
Envoy of the Orange Free State makes 
on all who approach him. He looks 
spiritual, standing between the two sturdy 
Africanders, Wessels and Wolmarans. 
He has a pleasant smile and word for 
everybody , and at once promised 
to become the most popular of the 
three delegates. He is a good conversa- 
tionalist, but, for all his vivacity, is 
quite as well able to steer his own 
course as Wolmarans or Wessels. His 
distinguishing quality is tact. 

Abraham Fischer was a member of 
the Executive Raad of the Free State 
and, by profession, a lawyer at Bloem- 
fontein. He lived in a pretty villa on 
the outskirts of the town, provided with 
every comfort which the modern Boer 
considers necessary and proper to the 
social position which he occupies. He 
was well - known as the owner of 



beautiful horses; he had few rivals in 
the taste and knowledge that he displayed 
in their purchase; and, when in Europe, 
had the pain of learning that his estate 
was devastated, his villa dismantled, his 
horses requisitioned, first by Lord Roberts 
and then by other English officers; that 
his linen and silver decorated the dinner- 
table of the Military Governor of 
the Orange River Colony: in short, 
that all that of which he had been 
so proud was wilfully and ruthlessly 
destroyed. 

The Free State Delegate submitted 
to these trials with an equanimity 
which compelled the admiration of 
everybody who came into contact with 
him. But then Fischer is an optimist, 
whereas Wolmarans is, as we know, a 
pessimist. At the time when the latter 
felt that war was inevitable, the former's 
belief in a friendly solution remained 
unshakable: even when the South 



HEROES OF THE BOEB WAR. 



African Republic had given up all hope 
and was preparing to send off her ulti- 
matum, Fischer advised dela}% in order 
to support President Steijn in his last 
correspondence with Sir Alfred Milner, 
a correspondence destined to lead to 
nothing. President Kruger and the 
Executive Raad of the Transvaal agreed 
to the proposal, so that they might 
not have to reproach themselves with 
not doing all that in them lay to 
prevent this unhappy war in South 
Africa. 

Abraham Fischer constituted him- 
self the optimistic apostle of peace. 
During the Bloemfontein Conference, in 
June 1899, he went again and again 
from President Kruger's house to Sir 
Alfred Milner's, and did everything in 
his power to bring the parties to a 
mutual understanding. 

Calumny was abroad, whispering that 
he was afraid of war, and was listened 
to, as calumny is apt to be: a proof 
how little even his own countrymen 
knew him. His wife stayed at Pretoria 
during the Conference, and many people 
asked him why he had not kept her at 
Bloemfontein: 

"Draw your own conclusions", he 
said. "Either I have let my wife leave 
the town because I consider the situation 
in South Africa to be absolutely peaceful 
and quiet, or else I have sent her to 
Pretoria because, surrounded by a ring 
of forts, she will be safer there than 
she could be here." 

His questioners were no wiser than 
they were before they got this ambiguous 
answer. 

That is Fischer's way: an indiscreet 
question leads to nothing with this adroit 
jurist. If necessary, he will know how 
to evade it, without committing himself 
in any way. His cleverness and presence 
of mind, his keen insight and, above 
all, his charming personality built up 
a practice which brought him great 
Avealth; but all this was before the 
war. Even President Steijn is not 



more highly esteemed in the Orange 
Free State than Abraham Fischer, the 
"Politician." The terse and dignified 
tone of President Steijn's correspondence 
before the war betrayed Fischer's master- 
hand, and his style is easily recognized 
in many an official document which 
left the Foreign Office at Pretoria during 
the negociations. During the difficult 
days preceding the 11th of October 1899, 
he was constantly on the move, travelling 
between Bloemfontein and the official 
residence of the Transvaal, now inter- 
viewing his own Government and Volks- 
raad, now interviewing the parliament 
of the Sister Republic. He implored and 
admonished all the friends of President 
Kruger and the Boers to exert their 
influence to the utmost to prevent the 
war which the Johannesburg capitalists 
desired. The high officials of Bloem- 
fontein and Pretoria were working day 
and night, but Fischer was even more 
indefatigable than any of them in his 
efforts at reconciliation, never entirely 
abandoning the hope that the desperate 
and most bloody war might be 
averted. 

And when, at last, in spite of all 
his efforts, he had to acknowledge that 
war was inevitable, instead of being 
cast down and mourning his shattered 
illusions, he turned all his energy and 
ability to the problems before him: 
how to carry through this most lament- 
able crisis to a satisfactory and, if 
God willed it so, victorious conclusion. 
The South African Republic owed much 
to Fischer: no wonder that, when Dr. 
Leyds retired as Secretary of State, all 
eyes were turned towards the Member 
of the Free State Executive Raad. Had 
he accepted the canditature, he would 
have had the united votes of the Volks- 
raad. But he was too much attached 
to Bloemfontein, to his Free State, to 
exchange these for the thankless task 
of becoming State Secretary of the 
South African Republic. Pressure was 
brought to bear upon Fischer, but in 



ABRAHAM FISCHER. 



79 



vain: he preferred 

to remain in the 
place which had 
seen him <n*o\v 
into manhood. 
The Trans vaalers 
mourned his con- 
stancy: the Free 
Staters rejoiced 
in it. 

Fischer and 
Wolmarans were 
the men of the 
"Closer Alliance." 
They perfected and 
carried out the 
plan originated 
by the two Pre- 
sidents at their 
meeting at Vil- 
joensdrift, after 
the election of 
Judge M. T. Steijn 
as Head of the 
Orange Free State 
in 1896. Public 
attention was cen- 
tred on the per- 
sonalities of those 
two men who, 
during the act of 
federation, were 
second in import- 
ance only to the 
two Heads of 
State. Fischer is 
distinguished for 
his great know- 
ledge, Wolmarans 
for his common- 
sense, a quality 
which he shares 
with Kruger. 

Where Wolma- 
rans is wanting 
in learning, his 
deficiency is amply 
supplied by his 
Free State col- 
league. 





S. W. BURGER, 

FORMERLY A MEMBER OP THE EXECUTIVE RA.AD AND ACTING PRESIDENT 
OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC. 



CHAPTER X. 



SCHALK WILLEM BURGER. 



8 CHALK Willem Burger is the man 
of the Industrial Report of 1897, 
which procured him the reputation, 
among the capitalists of the Rand and 
their followers , of being a very pro- 
gressive Transvaaler, and which, among 
many of his own countrymen, won 
him a name for rashness. Not that 
any impartial person for a moment 
doubts Schalk Burger's sentiments to be 
those of an ardent and upright Afric- 
ander: he is as true a patriot as the 
best of them; but it was manifest 
from the Report that , as President of 
the Industrial Commission, he had allow- 
ed himself to be too much led by 
his advising members, and that all that 
advice had confused him. In short, the 
report which he himself signed and 
which was headed by his name 
altogether reflected the opinion of the 
self-seeking mining speculators. It even 
contained inaccuracies which Schalk 
afterwards cordially regretted. 

At the time of the Industrial Re- 



port, Burger was the man whose praises 
were sung by the anti- Africander press. 
Paul Kruger, the obstinate, must make 
room at the presidential election for 
Schalk Burger, the enlightened man, 
who would bring unequalled prosperity 
to the country, according to the ideas 
of the millionaires , who were unable 
to imagine any other form of prosperity 
for the South African Republic than 
that in which they gained the greatest 
advantage. Stormy meetings were 
held, verbatim reports of which were 
published in the English papers. Schalk 
Burger stumped the country, fol- 
lowed wherever he went by a staff 
of English journalists, who saw to the 
puffing. But the Boers refused to be 
caught. Schalk Burger and Joubert 
together did not obtain as many votes 
for the presidency as old Kruger alone. 
The Boers saw a danger to their in- 
dependence in the retinue of hostile 
journalists and in the praises of the 
Rhodes press. They did not ask 



82 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



whether Schalk had demanded this ad- 
vertisement, or whether it had come to 
him unasked and undesired. They 
condemned him because of it , and 
Burger became its dupe. Even his 
English protectors withdrew their sym- 
pathy after he had suffered his defeat. 

Schalk Burger , who had made his 
first public appearance as a member of 
the Executive Raad with the Industrial 
Report, took greatly to heart the clear 
proof of the people's distrust of his 
policy. His appearance grew more 
serious, and it seemed as though no 
smile were ever again to brighten his 
face. He wore a more sorrowful 
air than of old. Schalk felt that he 
had been wronged. Some of his ad- 
versaries had, without rhyme or reason, 
accused him of English sympathies; 
and this embittered him. Thenceforward 
he took sides more firmly than before 
with General Joubert. He began to 
seek his strength in Slim Piet, and 
defended the latter when and wherever 
he was attacked. 

While the Bloemfontein Conference 
was in progress, I went one after- 
noon to President Kruger, who had 
asked me to read to him the number 
of the Volksstem containing a defence, 
written by Joubert himself, of his 
attitude on the franchise question. 
A few days before the conference, the 
general had allowed himself to be 
interviewed by a reporter of the Jo- 
hannesburg Star, and had declared 
himself in favour of the extension of 
full burgher rights after a five years' 
residence in the country. Delivered on 
the eve of the important conference, 
this utterance was undiplomatic, to say 
the least of it. 

Oom Paul was at dinner. He sat 
at the head of the table. On his right 
sat Danie Wolmarans and on his left 
Schalk Burger. I was given a chair 
next to the President, between him and 
Schalk. 

"A bit slowly," asked the President. 



I began to read: first General 
Joubert's letter, and then the leading 
article commenting on the letter. The 
Volksstem attacked Oom Piet smartly. 
Schalk Burger listened attentively, 
with knife and fork in hand, and, 
when I had finished, he immediately 
began to find fault with the Volks- 
stem for writing such misplaced articles 
against the Vice-president at so serious 
a time. 

I was silent, because 1 did not 
think it right to embark upon a dis- 
cussion in the old President's presence. 
Besides, neither Oom Paul nor A.D.W. 
had uttered a word. 

Schalk was of opinion that the 
general was entitled to speak at any 
time , especially as he was not taking 
part in the conference. The Star 
had continually urged that Oom Piet 
should accompany the others to Bloem- 
fontein, and Burger also seemed to 
deplore his absence. 

As soon as the war broke out, 
Schalk Burger left with General Joubert 
for Natal. He had formerly been 
Commandant of the Lijdenburg District, 
which he had also represented in the 
First Volksraad , and he became a 
general in the late struggle. He did 
not distinguish himself particularly, 
any more than in 1880 and 1881, 
when he held the Lijdenburg garrison 
invested during almost the whole War 
of Independence without compelling 
it to surrender to his superior force. 
Schalk Burger has very great capacity 
as an administrator, but he seems to 
lack the necessary energy as a leader 
in the field. 

He is an excellent speaker and 
compels the close attention of his 
audience. His speech on the occasion 
of the opening of the extraordinary 
session of the Volksraad, in January 189 G, 
immediately after the Jameson Raid, 
will always live in Transvaal history 
as a limpid utterance of the truest 
patriotism. 



LynoBONE^ 



N 




VIEWS OF LIJDENBURG. Lijdenburg, in the East of the Transvaal, is the district where 
the late Actirjg President of the South African Republic, Schalk Burger, was born. With 
its high mountains, its luxuriant vegetation, and its many water-falls it is one of the loveliest 
districts in the Transvaal. 2) Pilgrim's Rest is the centre of the Cape gold industry. 6) Market- 
Square, Lydenburg. 



84 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 




Dr. ELSBURGER Col. A. H. SCHIEL JUDGE COUNT 

KOCK ALBEDYLL 

THE LATE GENERAL COUNT FIELD CORNET 

J. H. M. KOCK ZEPPELIN POTGIETER 

GENERAL KOCK AND HIS STAFF: THE HEROES OF ELANDSLAAGTE, 21 October 
1899. J. H. M. Kock, the gallant old Transvaaler, Member of the Executive Raad, died 
at Ladysmith , on the 31st of October 1899, of inflammation of the lungs contracted on 
the field of battle, where he was wounded and lay long in the pouring rain before the 
English ambulance found him. His illness was increased by sorrow at his defeat. His 
son, Judge Kock, fell into the hands of the enemy, but was exchanged by General White 
after his father's death. Count Zeppelin was killed after firing off all his ammunition and 
eventually defending himself to the last against the charging Lancers with his whip. 
Colonel A. H. Schiel was till the end of the war a prisoner at St. Helena. Albedyll succeeded 
him in his command. With the exception of Potgieter and the lieutenant of the Transvaal 
Artillery, who did not take part in the battle, the others are all members of the German 
Corps, of which Dr. Elsburger stood at the head of the ambulance. 



At such times, Schalk Burger was 
in his element. 

Schalk Burger, in every- day life, is 
silent and as it were constantly sunk in 
thought. The long, narrow face, waxen 
in colour, crowned with the curly black 
hair and ending in the dark goatee, was 
generally lowered, as the lean and 
slender figure in the frock-coat hurried 
busily along. A single word, however, 
and he would at once stop and listen 
with complete attention to his inter- 
locutor. He was short in his replies, for 
he had no time to converse with people 
at length, but everyone could be sure of 
being civilly informed by him. 

While the President, when travelling, 
was always chatty and talkative, Schalk 



Burger generally sat silent and intro- 
spective. He had no lack of words, 
however, in the Volksraad, when ad- 
dressing the members. Then he was 
as fluent as you please , never had to 
pause for a word , and his speeches 
were both lucid and powerful. 

As Chairman of the First Volks- 
raad, he ruled debate in a manner to 
which none other has attained. He 
was strict, permitted no unparliamentary 
expressions to be used , and at once 
suppressed any departure from the rules 
of the assembly. The Raad owed it 
to him that, during his chairmanship, 
the sittings were shorter and more 
business was done than in later years. 
That chairmanship was the best time 



SCHALK WTLLEM BITRGKR. 



85 



of Schalk Burger's life. Then, all 
honoured him. Then, all Lijdenburg 
was proud of its member. 

No sooner, however, was he elected 
a member of the Executive Raad, than 
he became too progressive. His clear 
intelligence had long shown him that 
the Transvaal, with her many foreigners, 
had become a different country, and 
that it was no longer practical to 
maintain patriarchal laws which had 
been made exclusively for a nation of 
farmers. Those laws must be revised. 
As a member of the Volksraad, he had 
worked zealously towards this object- 
As a member of the Government, he 
wished to go further and went too 
far. As Chairman of the Industrial 
Commission, he had taken upon himself 
a task which was above his powers, 
and it was very easy for the experts, 
his advising members, to lead him off 
the scent with all sorts of sophisms. 
Schalk at that time was still too 
willing to believe that all men were 
as honest, honourable and upright as 
himself. 

He was ill able to keep his own 
counsel. He spoke when he saw or 
heard anything that appeared wrong in 
his eyes, and showed dislike for anyone 
to whom he could not show respect. 

He was as strict with himself as 
with others. He knew no relaxation. 
He devoted his life to his country. 
He worked with uninterrupted zeal, 
and was always prepared, even after a 
tiring day, to enlighten committees of 
the Volksraad on Government matters. 
He never gave an opinion before making 
a thorough investigation , and yet he 
often based his opinions on those of 
others, because he was easily influenced. 



His character and will are not so strong 
as those of Danie Wolmarans, but, on 
the other hand, he has gifts which are 
superior to A.D.W.'s. He is a better 
administrator, and knows better how to 
manage people. He is unquestionably 
a capable statesman, and yet the only 
reason why he was temporarily appointed 
to fill the presidency was that he and 
State Secretary Reitz were the only 
remaining members of the Executive 
Raad. Piet Joubert died on the 27th 
of March 1900; Jan H. M. Kock 
succumbed, on the 31st of October 1899, 
to the wounds received at Elandslaagte 
ten days before; Piet Cronje was a 
prisoner at St. Helena ; and Danie 
Wolmarans was in Europe. 




GENERAL TOBIAS SMUTS OF THE TKANSVAAE. 




F. W. REITZ, 

FORMERLY STATE SECRETARY OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC. 



CHAPTER XL 



F. W. REITZ. 



A true patriot is this genuine Africander, 
whose grey hair and beard contrast 
so strikingly with his heart full of 
youthful fire and animation. 

State Secretary Reitz was proud to 
see his two sons come from Bloem- 
fontein to be among the first to take 
the field with the Pretoria contingent. 
Calmly, with no expression on his 
face but that of paternal love and 
pride, he stood on the steps of 
Government Buildings and watched his 
children ride away to fight for African 
liberty. They were still children, those 
two sons of his. When they wrote to 
him of their determination to go on 
commando, he answered that the time 
had not yet come for them to fight for 
their country, that they were still too 
young. But they threw their father's 
admonition to the winds and came 
to Pretoria. He looked at them proudly: 
he recognized in them his own spirit, 
his own blood. 



And later, when the first Nether- 
lands ambulance arrived at Pretoria, 
our State Secretary was present at the 
railway -station, not only to welcome 
this aid from abroad in the name of 
his Government, but also to meet his 
eldest son, who had forsaken his studies 
in Holland now that his country was 
in danger: 

"That's right, my lad," he said, 
with a pressure of the hand that told 
all the rest. 

I stood close beside him and 
realized at that moment that our second 
Government official was one of those 
Africanders who would go on fighting 
till the overwhelming attack on their 
independence was beaten off or sub- 
jected them. And I was not surprised, 
therefore, when I heard that he had 
himself taken up the Mauser at a time 
when it was more than ever a case 
of life and death with the Republics: 

"If a people deserves freedom," he 
S* 




L. J. S. MALAN, 

I,. J. S. MALAN, the editor of "0« Land" at Cape Town, was, in i 90 ^ 1 ^* '"^^as" 

the Cape Parliament instead of Schreiner, the ex-Prime Minister. Soon fter he was 

sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment for reprinting from English papers details concerning 

General French's action in the Heidelberg District. 



F. W. RELTZ. 



89 



wrote, "it deserves to fight for that 
freedom," 

And he signed the maxim with rifle 
in hand. 

Reitz is a poet. Dry statesmanship, 
political worries have not been able to 
kill his love for all that is noble and 
beautiful. He even looked for poetry 
in politics, seeking to realize the words 
of the Dutch poet: 

Poetry is everywhere, all the world 

around; 
The question is, by whom she may, 

and by whom not, be found. 

He, the poet, found her. When 
Olive Schreiner wrote her noble defence 
of the Africander cause, her Words in 
Season, he became enthusiastic and, 
in his admiration for the inspiring style, 
had the work translated into Dutch and 
spread broadcast over South Africa. He 
himself found time to bestow his literary 
gifts on a revision of the translation. 

A Century of Wrong, that long 
list of bitter accusations against the 
British Government, is a second attempt 
in that direction, to convince the mul- 
titude by means of the poetic word. 
True, this pamphlet is for a great part 
the work of the young State Attorney 
and Assistant Commandant General, 
J. C. Smuts, but it clearly betrays the in- 
spiration of the State Secretary, who 
conceived the scheme of the volume. 

And, shortly before the war, appeared 
his open letter to his friend Blignaut, 
that old and tried official, the Government 
Secretary of the Orange Free State. That 
open letter was the cry of anguish of 
a man who saw days of suffering dawning 
for his people, but who also felt that 
the immediate future would prove to 
be that period of suffering through which 
every nation must pass before it be- 
comes really great and independent. That 
letter was the ardent and inspired utter- 
ance of an upright, honest love of his 
country. 

Reitz made a noble endeavour, and 
his mighty voice still rang out in his 



writings through the clash of arms. He 
can take pride to himself for having 
helped to enlighten public opinion in 
Europe and to explain away misconcep- 
tions on the Continent. None of the 
high-placed persons in the South African 
Republic has done more than he to 
bring to a better way of thinking people 
whose ideas were obscured by the 
deliberate lying of the Jingo press. 
For that purpose he could always find 
time; and whatsoever person of any 
importance that visited the Transvaal 
capital could always be sure of finding 
in State Secretary Reitz one who was 
ready to listen to him for hours and 
afford him all the information that 
he was able and at liberty to give. If 
he was busy by day, then the visitor 
would be his guest in the evening, and 
he himself would sit up working late 
at night to make up for the time lost. 
Everyone esteemed in Reitz the kindest 
and most courteous of men. 

Hundreds have betrayed this confi- 
dence placed in them by the State 
Secretary, and have gone home and 
continued to slander the country where 
they enjoyed an hospitality which 
asked for nothing in return but that 
the truth should be told. They have 
mocked at his enthusiastic patriotism. 
They have made fun of his too great 
optimism. They have ascribed to 
weakness of intellect his noble animation 
for the future of his people. They have 
twisted hiswordsandemployedthem in the 
service of lies to excite men's passions 
still further. They have repaid his civil- 
ity, his courtesy, his hospitality, his 
pains, his kindly exertions with taunts, 
sneers and calumnies. 

Any other man would long have 
abandoned his efforts to bring others 
to repentance. Not so Reitz: with his 
noble and joyous nature, he persisted 
with a tough determination which none 
would have suspected in him, and which 
he himself began to show only when his 
all-controlling patriotism made persistence 



90 



HEROES OF TIIK BOEE WAR. 



necessary. He started from the very 
sound stand-point that it is better to 
be deceived in ten people and bring one 
to repentance than leave all the eleven 
in darkness. His attachment to this 
theory, despite his many disappointments, 
certainly pointed to a sacred enthusiasm 
for the rightfulness of the Africander 
cause. 

The English Jingoes at Johannes- 
burg were deceived by their under- 
estimate of this enthusiasm. In 1897, 
when Reitz was elected, they thought 
that the new State Secretary would 
prove to be as feeble in character as 
he was in frame, and that his well- 
known good -nature would become an 
instrument in their hands. They were 
mistaken. He remained good-natured, 
sometimes too good-natured, but his 
kindliness cooled so soon as his love 
for the Africander people was called 
into question. This was soon made 
clear to the Jingo breed, who there- 
upon began to attack and vilify the 
man whom they had but lately flattered. 



All the Rhodesian papers in South 
Africa fell upon him, fiercely, insolently, 
libelling him and defiling his loyal, 
honest character, only because they had 
found him to be a steadfast, zealous 
Africander who refused to be bought 
by Jingo flattery. Reitz forgave them 
their personal attacks: he considered 
those beneath his notice. But what he 
never forgave was the campaign of 
calumny which was waged only in 
order to bring down a cruel war 
upon South Africa. So soon as he 
began to speak of the politics of the 
Rhodes press, he lost all self-control. 

The State Secretary was popular 
throughout South Africa and owed his 
popularity to his kindliness, to his good- 
humoured cheerfulness, to his enthusiasm 
for noble and beautiful things. But 
what arouses one's surprise is that, in 
the midst of all the cares of State, 
he was able to keep these character- 
istics uusullied. Whatever troubles and 
worries the day might bring with it, 
no promise to deliver a literary lecture, 




DEPARTURE OF THE GERMAN COMMANDO FROM PRETORIA. The sympathy of 
the Germans with the Boers was as keen as that of the Hollanders. The commando was dis- 
tinguished for the energy and endurance of its men. 



F. W. REITZ. 



91 




BURGOMASTER SCHUTTE OF JOHANNESBURG WITNESSING THE DEPARTURE OF 
THE BURGHERS : 4 November 1899. 



or take the chair at a festive meeting, 
was allowed to suffer, nor did any one 
ever notice by his voice, by any failing 
in the spoken word, or decrease of 
cheerfulness or friendliness in the State 
Secretary's person, that an hour or two 
earlier he had been leading a serious 
discussion in the Executive Raad on 
one of the notorious Chamberlain dis- 
patches. And it was his innate good- 
nature, rather than his diplomatic attain- 
ments, that enabled him to retain this 
equanimity. He could never bring him- 
self to disappoint other people, and was 
always ready to sacrifice himself for 
their enjoyment or happiness. 

But woe to him who came into 
collision with his sensitive patriotism! 
He never refused a word of kindness 
until he had discovered that his cour- 
tesy was being wasted on one unworthy 
of it, on one, in other words, who in- 
sulted his people and desired the de- 
struction of the country. Then he be- 
came angry and rough, and reproached 
the offender in very plain-spoken terms. 



His good-heartedness cost him an 
unspeakable amount of time, because it 
went against the grain with him to 
cut short one who was long of speech, 
or to refuse to listen to any that 
wished to speak to him. This leading 
trait in his character was also shown 
in his attitude towards his subordinates, 
whom he treated with the greatest hu- 
manity, and wdiose interests he was al- 
ways ready to champion in the Volks- 
raad or Executive Raad. 

Like all Africanders, he was very 
confiding. He thought that none could 
be less genuine than himself, and he 
refused to believe in others' dishonesty 
before he had certain proofs. The only 
exceptions were Sir Alfred Milner and .Mr. 
Chamberlain, whom Reitz saw through 
from the commencement. His love of 
his country caused him instinctively to 
suspectthese statement warlike intentions. 
Reitz was one of the first to entertain 
the conviction that, if the Bloemfontein 
Conference miscarried, war was bound 
to follow. 



02 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



Yet he retained the mastery over 
himself throughout the negociations: not 
for a moment did he allow himself to 
be carried away by the passions of 
others. He was determined to preserve 
his conscience against the reproach of 
having, through over-haste, played into 
Mr. Chamberlain's hands. This modera- 
tion was all the more noticeable in the 
hot-brained Reitz. But he felt the 
responsibilities of his office, and, with 
all the power of his strong will, sup- 
pressed his rage and excitement. He 
shuddered before the bloodshed that 
loomed before his vision. He was firmly 
convinced that the war would set all 
South Africa aflame, and that is why 
he determined to do all in his power 
to prevent that the dispute with Eng- 
land should be referred to the ordeal 
of arms. 

Shortly after the outbreak of hostil- 
ities, I was paying my daily visit to 
the State Secretary. The news had 
come in that the Boers in Cape Colony 
had joined the Federal forces in large 



numbers. The conversation turned on 
this subject, and Reitz said: 

"I have never ceased to represent to 
the British that a war with the South 
African Republic meant a struggle with 
the whole Africander race, the Pan- 
Africander war, which was represented 
in England as a ridiculous and alarmist 
bogie, because the Africanders in Cape 
Colony were content to live under British 
rule. I agree; but the English forget 
that our brother Africanders cannot 
passively look on while we are being 
exterminated and robbed of our liberty, 
the only thing to which we cling. It 
is not we who desired this struggle 
of the Africanders against England; but 
irresponsible persons in South Africa 
and ministers in England have set the 
feelings of the Africanders at defiance, 
and blood is thicker than water." 

Reitz is a fanatic. His belief in the 
triumph of the Boers was constant. He 
did not argue about it; he did not 
endeavour to prove its correctness: he 
simply believed and doubted not. He 




THE JOHANNESBURG POLICE (VAN DAM'S COMMANDO) OFF TO THE FRONT: 26 
October 1899. No commando behaved more gallantly in the war than the Johannesburg 
Police, which, with the other police and the State Artillery, formed the standing army of 
the country. Originally the Johannesburg Police numbered over a thousand men. After the 
Battle of Dalmanutha (?3 — 27 August 1900) their strength was reduced to less than two hundred. 
They were the corps cVilile of the Transvaal Boers. 



F. \\\ REITZ. 



93 



left Pretoria on the 2nd of June 1900, 
and was of good cheer, certain that he 
would return, and that the Transvaal 
Vierkleur would wave once more over 
Government Buildings. Whencesoever 
he might be driven, he firmly believed 
that he would return. His spirit was 
not to be broken, nor was his faith to 
be shaken. He accepted his fate, not 
with resignation, but joyfully. He did 
not complain, but simply said; 
"What God does is well done!" 
The struggle did not unnerve him: 
reverses but strengthened his convic- 
tion. He was able to communicate this 
conviction to others. His faith was so 
firm that the unbelievers and doubters 
at last began to embrace some of his 
fanaticism. 

He wrote, in August 1901, to his 
wife in Holland that he was well and 
of good courage. He could not be 
otherwise. All the misery, all the 
failures to overcome a superior force 



he treated as passing matters. For him 
it was irretrievably written that Africa 
should one day belong to the African- 
ders. In this fact he believed as firmly 
as, Christian that he is, he believes 
in a world to come. And therefore 
he fought, without flinching. There- 
fore he retained his cheerfulness, his 
kindliness, amidst all his country's de- 
feats. Therefore, too, he was an in- 
spiriting force at that moment of ad- 
versity for the Transvaalers. 

Reitz had become more closely 
united with the humblest of the Boers, 
because he was as poor as any of them. 
He possessed nothing on earth but his 
Mauser. With the simplest burgher, 
he had to look to the commissariat for 
his clothes, his food, his tobacco. He 
was ready to suffer hunger with them, 
to share their poverty and privations, 
their misery and their cares, because he 
loved his country and his people with 
a passion that nothing could allay. 




TRANSVAAL HOWITZER MADE AT PRETORIA. 




THE LATE P. J. JOUBERT, 

niMMAMIANT GENERAL AND VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN 



REPUBLIC. 



CHAPTER XII. 



THK LATH COMMANDANT GENERAL P. J. JOUBERT. 



SPHERE are, alas, many people in 
■*- Europe who believe that Slim Piet, 
as General Joubert was usually called 
by the Boers, was a traitor. This 
assertion has always made a painful 
impression upon me. Joubert, who 
will ever remain a proud figure in the 
history of the South African Republic, 
did not deserve of his country and 
people that he should be slandered now 
that he is no longer there to defend 
himself. 

But the present great men of the 
Transvaal and the Orange Free State 
have continued to believe in Slim Piet. 
Men like President Steijn , General 
Botha, De la Rey and Beijers have never 
ceased to recognize General Joubert's 
military capacity, although several of 
them were his political opponents. 

It must be admitted that, in full 
time of peace, Slim Piet's appearance 
was not sympathetic. His high, piping 
voice, his small, beady eyes, the sly 
smile that played about his mouth 



gave him an air of falseness which 
made an unpleasant impression and, 
rightly or wrongly, prejudiced many 
persons against him. Besides, his 
character was not open and square like 
that, for instance, of Koos De la Rey. 
He was essentially a trimmer, liked to 
remain on good terms with friend and 
foe, and ended by estranging both. 
But, when his land and liberty were 
in danger, Joubert was as honest and 
true as the best patriot. He long 
advised the Government to yield to 
the British demands; but, when the 
offer of a five years' franchise was 
declined by the British Government, 
with an arrogant declaration that then' 
were other questions to be solved besides 
the franchise; when, on the 8th of 
September 1899, the British Government 
sent its dispatch, which was called an 
ultimatum by the English press; when 
the news came that another 10,000 men 
were to be shipped to South Africa, 
then General Joubert too abandoned all 



96 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR, 



hope of an amicable settlement to the 
diplomatic situation. Thenceforward 
he was bound to agree with them who 
had said from the commencement that 
the men in Downing Street wanted 
war and nothing else. From that 
moment, Joubert made his preparations 
for the great struggle which was on 
the point of bursting out. In the 
Transvaal capital there remained no 
official persons who believed in a peaceful 
solution; but also there was none but 
hoped that the catastrophe might still 
be averted. It was in those days that 
Oom Piet wrote his touching letter to 
England's great and honoured Queen. 
I do not know that he expected much 
good to come of his prayer for aid to 
that august lady. It would have been 
different, he thought, if she had been 
able to read his cry of anguish in 
those anxious days — for like all Afric- 
anders he had a sacred respect for the 
"Old Lady" — but he felt that his 
letter would probably never reach her 
hands. And yet he would leave 
nothing undone that might save the 
situation. 

And so a few more days passed, 
until the end of September approached. 
News came to Pretoria that the British 
military posts had been pushed forward 
from Ladysmith to Glencoe and Dundee. 
The danger of a collision, under the 
pre vailing excitement, became very great, 
owing to the presence of a strong 
British force on the Transvaal frontier. 
The British orders were given on the 
24 th of September. The Natal Cabinet 
had already given warning that such 
an act could not be understood by the 
Boers save as a declaration of war. 
The Transvaal Volksraad at once, 
clearly and without concealment, ex- 
pressed its surprise at this act. General 
Joubert still waited; but, at the end of 
the last week of September, it became 
necessary to guard the Transvaal frontier, 
and, when war was declared on the 11th 
of October, he too, the old man, set 



out to lead the military operations in 
Natal in person. 

For days and nights, during the 
previous week, he had worked at his 
plan of campaign, which was not destined, 
however, to be carried out. The great 
council of Avar held at Newcastle deter- 
mined at once to attack and render inef- 
fective the Dundee garrison, and next 
to march on Ladysmith. In vain the 
general pleaded in favour of his plan to 
leave a sufficient number of covering 
men and guns in the Drakensberg 
passes and to march with the main 
force to Pietermaritzburg, which would 
compel the garrisons of Dundee and 
Ladysmith to venture out on the open 
veldt for the defence of the Natal capital. 

The spirit among the Boer officiers 
in general was too eager for them 
to consent to march so far before 
coming into touch with the enemy. 
Besides, the Pretoria Government feared 
lest the English should cross the 
frontier, once they were behind the 
back of Joubert's army. And, since, 
at that time , every officer had an 
equal vote in the council of war with 
the Commandant General himself, Jou- 
bert's plan was rejected. 

Joubert did not permit himself to 
be for a moment cast down. Fortified 
by his patriotism, he forgot this rebuff 
and continued to devote himself, with 
all his great talents, his iron industry 
and his clear brain, to his difficult task 
as Commander-in-Chief. 

Once again he displayed his tactical 
excellence in the investment of Lady- 
smith. That the British stronghold 
did not fall was not his fault. Each 
time he planned an attack by storm, 
the women of the Transvaal and Free 
State were seized with terror, and all 
the influence of high and low alike 
was employed to counteract the plan. 
Joubert had to fight against all this 
influence and opposition, while his 
adversaries were ever ready to criticize 
and condemn his acts. 



98 



HEROES OF THE BOEB WAS 




GENERAL J HUBERT WITH HIS SON-IN-LAW, MALAN, AND HIS SECRETARY, 

liUACHT, IN HIS TENT BEFORE LADYSMITH. 



In his clay, he had to reckon with all 
soils of currents and circumstances which, 
in later days, were lost in the power- 
ful stream of all-sacrificing patriotism 
that then animated the Boer combat- 
ants. The elements which afterwards 
fell out of the ranks were those which 



had always opposed Joubert. They 
valued their precious bodies above the 
sacred cause of liberty, and, where their 
lives were in danger, despised no means 
of ensuring their safety. 

Joubert, the old hero of the War of 
Independence, was pained by all those 



THE LATE COMMANDANT GENERAL 1'. .1. JOUBERT. 



99 



events. His heart 
bled when lie, the 
prudent man, was 
accused of reck- 
lessly endangering 
human life, sis, 
for instance, on 
the occasion of 
the famous march 
to Estcourt, in 
November 1899, 
with its masterly 
reconnaissance ac- 
complished with 
2,000 mounted 
men. And I am con- 
vinced that all the 
opposition was to a 
great extent the 
cause of his death. 
It certainly accent- 
uated the dis- 
order from which 
he suffered. 

Even on his 
death - bed , he 
thought of no- 
thing but his coun- 
try. He probably 
feared that the 
same silent forces 
which had always 
opposed him would 
continue to make 
themselves felt 
after his death; 
and Joubert insist- 
ed that Louis 
Botha, his political 
opponent, but a 
popular, young 
and very talented 
leader, should be 
appointed Com- 
mandant General 
in his place. And 
this is the patriot 
whom some call 
traitor! Would 
that I could inspii 



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100 



HEROES OK THE BOEB WAR. 



It is doubtful whether a man will 
ever again arise in either Republic with 
General Joubert's talent for projecting 
a plan of campaign. Even Louis Botha 
must acknowledge his deceased prede- 
cessor as his master. Joubert's plans and 
the manner of their execution always 
won him admirers in the council of 
war. His great plan for the invasion 
of Natal was perhaps the only one, 
during the whole course of his long 
and famous military career, to be 
rejected. He knew how to explain his 
plans in such a way that they were 
almost always accepted with unanimity. 




THE ARTILLERY BARRACKS AT PRETORIA. After the Jameson Raid, 
(31 December lt95), the Transvaal Government wisely decided to provide the 
Artillery with modern guns, and to enlarge the corps. This was done gradually, 
and the best guns that money could buy were purchased. These barracks had 
only been in use since a short while. The monument to the right, in front, was 
erected to the memory of Major H. Pretorius, the first commander of the Artillery. 



But he was a pessimist. After the 
Battle of Elandslaagte, on the 21st of 
October 1899, he wrote to the Govern- 
ment at Pretoria that the Africanders 
had never suffered so great a defeat. 
Is it a matter for wonder, then, that 
he almost gave up courage when one 
reverse after the other struck the Boers; 
when Cronje was driven from his 
position at Magersfontein, on the 15th 
of February 1900, and, twelve days 
later, surrendered with 3,500 men; when 
General Buller occupied Pieters Hill 
on the 27th of February and the Boers 
in Natal were seized with panic? 
Another general would probably have 



made a desperate attempt to recover 
Pieters Hill. Joubert was crushed, was 
utterly dejected. He made no effort 
to stop the flight of the burghers. 
On the contrary, he was one of the 
first, on the following day, to break 
up the siege of Ladysmith with his 
laager. This his enemies never forgave 
him. But they forgot to take into account 
the fact that constant opposition and ill- 
luck had undermined General Joubert's 
character, which was never a strong one. 
He required cheering and encouragement. 
In earlier days, it was his wife, the 
stronger mind of the two, who used to 
stimulate him 

with a single 
word. One need 
but remember the 
historic incident 
of the 27th of 
February 1881, 
when Mrs. Jou- 
bert called the 
burghers to arms 
while the general 
was still dismayed 
by the discovery 
that Majuba Hill 
was occupied by 
British soldiers. 
And yet Slim 
Piet was no cow- 
ard, as might 
appear to be suggested by the above. 
In times of need, he feared no danger. 
He could retain his calm with shells 
bursting around him. No bombs nor 
bullets could make him retreat when 
it was necessary that he should stand 
his ground. He had all the fanaticism 
of the old Boers: 

"If it is not God's will that I be 
touched, the bullets will not harm me." 
General Joubert had a fatherly 
care for his burghers. He did not 
give them an easy time of it His 
adjutants will bear witness to that: 
they had but little rest. But he 
never led them into unnecessary danger. 



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102 



HEROES OF THE l'.OEU WAK. 



He was as sparing of his men's lives 
as though those lives were his own. And 
he treated those best who worked hardest. 
He could send lamentations to Pretoria, 
day after day, on this matter or that. 
But he did not complain on his own 
behalf: only on that of the burghers 
on commando. 

"The English could have no better 
ally than the man who bakes the 
bread for the laagers," he once wrote 
to the Government. "The contractor, 
it seems to me, wants to poison my 
men." 



punished. The neutrals in Natal soon 
came to know that Joubert was inexo- 
rably strict in this respect, and they 
complained to him in full confidence 
whenever any of their property had 
been taken by the burghers. The old 
general took care that it should berestored 
whenever possible; and, if not, the 
damage was invariably made good to 
them. Then what a penitential sermon 
Joubert would read the offender! The 
miscreant used to feel more humiliated 
by those words than by the punishment 
that followed, and would think twice 




CAMP OF THE FIELD TELEORAPH-CORPS OF THE TRANSVAAL ARTILLERY UNDER 

FIRST LIEUTENANT P. C PAFF. This corps was excellently equipped. It possessed the best 

and latest instruments, and did invaluable service to the Boer forces. It was remarkable 

how quickly the Boers mastered all the details of field telegraphy. 



This concern for their welfare won 
the hearts of the Boers, who knew 
that, if they came to the general with a 
serious complaint, they would be helped. 
But woe to them if they did anything 
that conflicted with civilized methods 
of warfare! The looting at Newcastle, 
when Natal was invaded in October 
1899, roused Joubert's fury. Certain high- 
placed and influential persons who had 
looked on passively were sent home in 
disgrace. He would not tolerate them 
in his sight. And he declared that, 
thenceforth, all looting would be severelv 



before he again attempted to take what 
was not his. 

Despite his advanced years, Joubert 
was capable of developing an extra- 
ordinary amount of industry. For that 
matter, his whole appearance was that of a 
hale and hearty man, stalwart, with a 
springy step , and an irreproachable 
horseman. He was able to work with 
his secretary till a late hour at night, 
and in the morning, at day-break, he 
would again be up and doing. He was 
as watchful as the youngest of them all 
No enemy would ever surprise his laager. 



THE LATE COMMANDANT GENERAL P. .1. JOUBERT. 



Hi:; 



As a politician, Joubert was neither 
so eminent nor so capable as he showed 
himself as a commander. He never 
clearly saw his political line before 
him. He always hesitated. But he 
was skilful in debate. There was only 
one man in the Volksraad who could 



beat him on this field, and that was 
Wolmarans. 

Joubert's enemies and adversaries 
may say of him what they please: he 
was and will always remain a striking 
figure in the history of the South 
African Republic. 




ROCKET SIGNALS. Ladysmith was in sore straits during the latter part of the siege: unless help arrived 

without delay, the town was hound to surrender. As the captain of a sinking ship sends up rocket after 

rocktt in the hope of succour, so General White signalled night after night to Buller. 




GENERAL P. A. CRONJE, 

FORMERLY A MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE RAAD OF 'THE SOUTH AFRICAN 
REPUBLIC AND SUPERINTENDENT OF NATIVES. 



CHAPTER Mil. 



GENERAL P. A. CRONJE. 



A court-martial was being held at 
Magersfontein, south of Kimberley. 
P. A. Cronje, called Piet Cronje for short, 
dressed in his big, faded green overcoat, 
surmounted by a fanciful hat decorated 
with short ostrich-feathers, sat on the 
top of the trench where the members 
were assembled. A commandant of the 
Free State who had been guilty of 
insubordination towards a superior 
officer was on his defence. Before the 
commencement of the examination, a 
question arose between Judge Hertzog, 
the Free State jurist, and Judge J.Esser, 
the Transvaal jurist, as to the ad- 
visability of the presence of the officers 
of the South African Republic. Dis- 
cussion waxed warm; there seemed to 
be no chance of agreement between 
the two lawyers. Oom Piet became 
irritated and restive during this wordy 
debate; once or twice he beat the earth 
with an impatient, nervous fist, and 
then jumped suddenly into the trench 
and shouted in a thundering voice: 



"I open the court-martial!" 
The jurists looked at each other 
in dumfoundered amazement, and then, 
making the best of a bad bargain, sat 
down quietly. They had come simul- 
taneously to the wise conclusion that 
they had best let matters rest as they 
were. 

Piet Cronje did not believe in 
bandying words. He was accustomed 
to act as seemed best to him, without 
let or hindrance. Contradiction made 
him extremely angry, and only helped 
to strengthen his own convictions. 
General De la Rey was the only one 
who was not afraid of him, and often 
succeeded, but never without a stormy 
interview, in bringing him round to his 
way of thinking. 

When I arrived at Magersfontein as 
war-correspondent, General De la Rey 
was the first person I met He shook 
my hand most cordially, and said, in a 
hearty way: 




THE LATE COLONEL UE VILLEBOIS-MAEEUIL. 

THE LATE COLONEL COMTE DE VILLEBOIS -MARETJIL, an heroic and noble 
nature. When the British before Kimberley made a breach in the trenches, and shell 
after shell exploded around him, Villebois remained quietly at his post, though all near 
him fled and five Transvaalers were severely wounded. No foreign officer who fought 
on the side of the Boers was so deeply mourned as Villebois. He fell at Boshof on 
the 5th of April 1900. 



GENERAL P. A. CRONJE 



1U7 



"Well, old 
fellow, where have 
you been all this 
time?" 

My reception 
by Oom Piet was 
of a very different 
kind. He asked 
me into his tent, 
which contained 
an iron bedstead, 
a box and a table 
on which stood a 
desk for the sec- 
retary. I noticed 
how exquisitely 
neat every thing- 
was in the tent. 
His wife w;is 
making coffee and 
offered me a cup. 
Oom Piet, sitting 
on the edge of 
the camp-bed, 
asked: 

"How are the 
people in Pre- 
toria?" 

"All right, general." 

"Aren't they frightened?" 

"Not a bit, general. What should 
they be frightened of?" 

"When the war broke out , they 
asked me what they were to do, and I 
told them to stay quietly at Pretoria. 
Our burghers will put this business right." 

The general laughed good-naturedlv 
at the fears of those one or two timid 
foreigners in the capital; he was so sure 
that he would master the "Rooineks." 
This conviction found full expression 
in his answer to the fallen French 
Colonel, Count de Villebois-Mareuil, 
and the Austrian Count Sternberg, 
who suggested that the British, instead 
of risking a second frontal attack on 
the strong position of Magersfontein, 
might, by making a turning move- 
ment, attack from the east. Without 
moving a muscle he said: 




THE RESTORED GUN LOXG TOM. During the night of 8 December 1899. 
one of the guns, Long Tom, which bombarded Ladysmith, was rendered useless by 
the British. A. charge of dynamite placed in the muzzle did great damage. 
But the destruction of the gun was by no means complete, and it was easily 
repaired. Long Tom was ready for work again in a very short time, and was dis- 
patched by rail to Ottoskop, near Kimberley. The gun created no little dismay among 
the inhabitants of the latter city. 



"Very well, then we shall catch 
them in the plain and shoot down every 
Englishman of them." 

All the European officers could do 
was to shrug their shoulders: argument 
was out of the question. The British 
prepared to make this circuit, and Oom 
Piet was quite convinced that he could 
repulse them. He sent off commando 
after commando; but it was of no use: 
the enemy outnumbered them. In vain 
was his short and terse command : 

"Hurry; shoot clown the British to 
the last man!" 

It could not be done. The English 
cavalry galloped down between the 
two hills, drove off the garrison 
and took up a strong position. This 
secured the safety of French's brigade, 
which had commenced to deploy on 
the 11th of February 1900. 

During the evening, the Boer of- 



108 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



Beers held a council of war at Magers- 
t < mt fin : the position was lost, the main 
camp surrounded, and Cronje cast down, 
1 1< >t knowing what to do. He was ready 
for a ret real with women, children, 
waggons and so forth; but he had no 
practical plans. 

Count Sternberg, who was present 
with Colonel de Villebois, trembling 
with indignation at the bare suggestion 
of such a move, called out: 

"Fly? I, an Austrian officer, fly? 
Never!" 

Villebois took the matter more 
quietly. He saw that nothing remained 
but a retreat, and suggested the 
route to Boshof, to the north-east of 
Kimberley. 

Cronje said nothing. Captain Danie 
Theron, who had no patience with inde- 
cision and who felt that something must 
be done without delay, offered to break 
through the British lines with a thou- 
sand volunteers and thus secure the 
retreat of the Boer force. 

"You may put down my name at 
the head of the list," he said, with 
great determination. 

After a long consultation, the re- 
treat was decided upon. In the stillness 
of the night, on the 15th of February 
1900, the waggons were loaded up: as 
the whole convoy was going, no one 
wished to leave anything behind. The 
English got no wind of the move, and, 
at daybreak, the British guns sent forth 
their lightning from all sides, and shells 
fell thick upon the place where, only 
the day before, the laager had been. 

Draper, of the Transvaal Intelligence 
Department, who had remained behind 
with the "Red Cross" and who objected 
to having his breakfast spoilt by this 
bombardment, improvised a white flag 
and went to the spot where , through 
his field-glasses, he had seen some 
British officers standing. He informed 
them, in his politest manner, that the 
Boer army, much to its regret, had left 
without having the opportunity of 



returning the salute; but it sent its 
compliments. 

"Where the devil is Cronje then?" 
asked the officers, in dumfoundered 
amazement. 

"Don't know," drawled Draper, and 
asked to have the bombardment stopped. 

This was done. Meanwhile, orderly- 
officers dashed off at a hand-gallop to 
headquarters at Jacobsclaal, to report that 
Cronje had made off. The British patrols 
did not catch sight of him until about 
eleven o'clock. 

From that moment, the British 
artillery-fire followed him, thundering, 
roaring, shaking earth and sky. His 
long train hindered mobility, and, fired 
with great precision, the shells burst 
over the waggons, whilst the tired 
beasts, encouraged by yells and cracking 
whips, did their utmost. The British 
did not venture to attack; the Boer 
artillery, under the command of two such 
undaunted German officers as von Dewitz 
and von Heister, held the cavalry of 
the enemy in check. 

It needed no wizard to tell that, 
hampered as Cronje was by his slow 
and heavy train, the British would over- 
take him and not only cut him off, 
but take him between two fires; there- 
fore the commandants advised the 
general to leave the waggons behind, 
to ride forward with the burghers and 
take up strong positions. Cronje" curtly 
refused. Firmly and sturdily he sat 
his horse , a picture of wrong- headed 
obstinacy. 

AtBrandsvlei, Chief Com mandantFer- 
reira, of the Free State, sent a messenger 
to advise him to cross the drift 
and join him. Cronje refused, and 
declared that he would press on to 
Paardenberg. De Wet did not approve 
of this. He was afraid that the British 
would occupy the hill and cut up the 
laager in the plain. Cronje declared 
that he knew r what he was about, and 
that the position was impregnable. 

He took up his position at the foot 



110 



HKKOKS OF THK BOER WAR. 



of Paardenberg. What De Wet had 
foreseen happened. The enemy forced 
the Boers to evacuate the surrounding 
heights and plantedtheirgunsthere. They 
attempted to storm the laager two days 
later, on the 18th of February 1900, and 
met with frightful losses. Then com- 
menced an uninterrupted bombardment, 
(ieneral De Wet and the war-commission 
at Bloemfontein pressed Cronje by 
heliograph to break with his burghers 
through the British lines, leaving 
women, children and waggons behind. 
The British would hurt neither women 
nor children. Oom Piet heliographed 
buck that there was no need for 
anxiety, his trenches were good. All 
he needed was medical help. Every 
morning, De Wet asked for news by 
heliograph and always got the same 
answer , that all was well and that 
the enemy would not get the better 
of Cronje's burghers. 

But the burghers were driven across 
the river, first from one position and 



then from another, and their situation 
became daily more serious. The roar 
and thunder of the British guns was 
heard in De Wet's laager day and 
night, and day and night saw confla- 
grations in Cronje's laager. A few 
burghers succeeded in escaping singly 
and brought back the most harrowing 
descriptions of the condition of their 
unfortunate comrades; but no w r ord of 
complaint came from the general. He 
returned curt answers to the sympathetic 
enquiries of his brother-in-arms, De 
Wet. 

Suddenly the heliograph from 
Cronje's laager ceased to send its 
message. De Wet became uneasy, 
and, two days later, when an heroic 
attempt to rescue the unfortunate 
burghers had miscarried, Captain Danie 
Theron volunteered for the dangerous 
post of fighting his way through to 
Cronje, to see how matters stood. He 
found Oom Piet alone, sullen as ever 
and as obstinately determined to hold 




ENGLISH PRISONERS OF WAR FROM PAARDENBERG. When Cronje's laager was 
surrounded at Paardenberg, many heroic attempts were made by the Boers from outside 
to rescue their comrades. The greatly superior forces of Lord Roberts' army rendered 
these attempts fruitless. Still the Boers took several prisoners. Those represented above 
were surprised at dinner. The photograph was taken on their arrival at Pretoria 
(25 February 1900). 



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L12 



BEEOES OF THE BOEE WAR. 



on and "give the enemy a thorough 
lesson once and for all," he said. When 
tlif general heard of the futile attempt 
at rescue, he smiled grimly as much 
as to say, "No matter, I'm safe where 
I am." Danie Theron saw that 
those under Cronje did not share his 
optimism, but had again and again 
tried to persuade the general to leave 
all behind and cut his way through 
the lines. At last, Cronje had to 
recognize that his obstinacy was losing 
him the great influence he once held 
over those under his command, for 
the burghers, under the protection of 



who would have defended his position 
with such unshaken tenacity. His short, 
square tigure, his curt manner of 
command, so much in contrast with 
his naturally friendly manner, all showed 
the unconquerable stubbornness of the 
man's nature. 



It was on the morning of the Battle 
of Magersfontein, on the 11th of 
December 1899, when General Wau- 
chope, with a force of a few hundred 
men, having skirted the Boer position, 
noticed a number of loose horses 




A TRANSVAAL ARTILLEKY-PAKK. 



the white flag, went over to the enemy 
by tens and twelves. At last he agreed 
to throw a wooden bridge across the 
Modder River and join De Wet. The 
enemy got wind of the plan and set 
the bridge on tire with lyddite shells. 
The anniversary of Majuba Day, 27 Fe- 
bruary 1881, beheld the surrender of 
Cronje, the most disastrous event of 
the war. 

Grim, stern and sullen, brave Oom 
Piet went into captivity. His hopes 
of giving the British a lesson once and 
for all were at an end. Had it depended 
on him, he would have starved to death 
rather than agree to hoist the white 
flag. There is no other Boer general 



galloping over the plain, and began to 
shoot them down. Cronje' and his staff 
of six officers happened to be near. 
Oom Piet's sharp eyes noticed the grey 
shadows moving to and fro unsteadily. 
He watched a moment, and then called 
out excitedly: 

u There are the Rooineks; shoot, 
lads, shoot!" 

Joined by two burghers from the 
Kroonstad Commando, the seven men 
began to fire at the flitting shadows 
in the grey distance. 

The first sunbeams pierced the 
misty clouds with their golden arrows, 
and the soft grey veil was lifted from 
the fresh and smiling landscape. The 



GENERAL P. A. CRONJE 



113 



veldt wore its most beauteous dress of 
creamy white and softest green; dia- 
monds glimmered in its folds, lending 
it brilliancy and added beauty. And then, 
when the last flaky clouds , delicate 
as cobwebs, had been put to flight by 
the fiery advance of the sun , there 
lay between the boulders many a brave 
soldier, with clenched hands and arms 
upraised to heaven, as though, in his last 
moment, he had called down God's 
curse upon his destroyer. They lay 
where they had fallen , those poor 
Tommies, their glazed eyes still open 
and gazing upwards, as though the soul, 
winging itself for flight, looked to the 
spirit of morning for guidance into 
Eternity. Others hid their faces in 
Mother Earth's bosom, as though the 
brilliant light affrighted them. And 
piteous were the cries of the wounded for 
water, to which their comrades, in their 
terror and confusion, lent a deaf ear. 

"Shoot, boys, shoot!" had been 
Cronje's cry, and his own Mauser had 
taken its full share in the work. 

"I can't go on," sighed a Kroonstad 



burgher, a mere boy, whose first battle 
it was, and who was nearly driven cr;i/.\ 
by the unceasing crack of the rifles. 

He saw the wounded soldiers totter 
and fall, and others run about in 
confusion, seeking a way of es<;ipu 
which they were never to find. The 
Boer fire gave them no chance. Nine 
men against two hundred! Cronje saw 
that the enemy was much stronger, but 
he dared not lose time by sending for 
reinforcements. The Rooineks had to 
be beaten , and Oom Piet beat them. 

Some time afterwards , I met the 
young Kroonstad burgher again. When 
he spoke of that morning, he put his 
hands to his head, shuddered and saidr 

"I dare not think of it; it drives me 
mad; never again will I go on commando: 
I am now with the Red Cross.'' 

Cronje, the captive of St. Helena, 
may not have shown himself possessed 
of the great powers of strategy with 
which he was credited before the war. 
But he has every right to his title of 
honour as '"Brave Oom Piet". 




GLIMPSES OF BOER CAJIP LIKE- PREPARING DINNER. This is a very important 
moment in camp life. The Kaffir is set to chop wood, called iron- wood on account 
of its hardness. As soon as the potatoes are peeled and put on to. boil, preparations 
are made to stew or roast the meat. An ingenious roasting-jack is contrived by tying two 
pieces of this same iron wood together. The Boer has to look sharp about it, though: 
there is not much time for meals when war is abroad. 




LOUIS BOTHA, 



FORMERLY COMMANDANT GENERAL OF THE TRANSVAAL FORCES, AND 
MEMBER OF THE FIRST VOLKSRAAD FOR THE VRIJHEJX) DISTRICT. 



CHAPTER XIV. 



COMMANDANT GENERAL LOUIS BOTHA. 



SHORTLY before the outbreak of the 
^ war, when the Transvaal Volksraad 
was appointing different leaders to fill 
the rank of general, no member of 
our legislature thought of giving a vote 
to Louis Botha. Louis was too young 
and had had no opportunity of displaying 
his tactical qualities. He had risen 
no higher than assistant field cornet. 
Lucas Meijer, the senior member for 
Vrijheid, for which district Botha sat 
as junior member in the First Volks- 
raad, was appointed a general. He had 
been wounded in the neck in the war 
of 1880-1881 and had given proofs 
of great bravery in the Zulu War. 
The appointment therefore was only 
natural, and that Louis Botha was 
passed over is quite as intelligible. 
Like so many others , like De Wet, 
Kritzinger, Danie Theron, Beijers, Malan, 
he first displayed his great capacity 
during the course of the war. 

He was one of the first to take the 
field. As Lucas Meijer's subordinate, 



he fought freely at Dundee, but without 
distinguishing himself. Then Lucas Meijer 
fell ill, owing to the exhausting marches 
and fights that fellowed on the evacuation 
of Dundee (22-26 October 1899). The 
doctors prescribed absolute rest. Meijer 
returned to Pretoria, and Louis Botha 
assumed the temporary command. The 
Utrecht and Vrijheid Commandoes held 
Ladysmith locked in on the south. It 
was over these and the Wakkerstroom 
Commando that the young general held 
command, and the task fell to him of 
defending the Tugela positions against 
Sir Redvers Buller's advancing army. 

Here Louis Botha established his 
name for good and all as an able 
tactician. Personally he showed the 
burghers where to dig the trenches. 
He taught them how to conceal those 
trenches from the eyes of the enemy 
by means of branches and foliage. He 
encouraged the burghers in their heavy 
work upon the hard rocky ground, 
work made still more unpleasant by 



116 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



the scarcity of implements, enabling 
the Boers to work only by turns. But 
Louis Botha's friendly words, his 
encouraging talk and infinite patience 
kept up the burghers' spirits. Most 
of them had not even known him by 
sight before that time; but he enlisted 
the sympathy of the Transvaalers with 
astonishing swiftness. His kindly glance. 




THE LATE GENERAL LUCAS MEYER, President of the First 
Volksraad of the South African Republic. The hero of Dundee and 
Glencoe (20 October 1899), the brave warrior who was wounded in 
the neck in the war of 1880-81, President of the former "New 
Republic," known, siDce 188*, as the Vryheid District, and leader of 
the Boers who so successfully defeated the Zulus under Silepu in 
1884. He died suddenly, on the 8th of August 1902, soon after his 
arrival in Europe. 



the patience with which he listened to 
one and all in a moment won every 
heart. He knew how to lead his men 
as very few officers did. 

On the 6th of December 1899, Ge- 
neral Joubert was taken to the hospital 
at Volksrust to recover from the dis- 
orders brought on by the famous 
march to Estcourt (22 November 1899). 
Louis Botha was appointed responsible 



commander of the Tugela positions. Jt 
was a great distinction for this young man 
of thirty-five. Some of his subordinates 
looked upon him with a jealous eye; 
but Louis disarmed envy by his kind- 
ness, and, when the Battle of Colenso 
had been fought, on the 15th of 
December 1899, the malcontents 
dared to attack the young general only 
in whispers. Louis Botha had 
chosen his positions so ex- 
cellently that at no single point 
did the garrison need strength- 
ening. During the battle, 
he was constantly at the most 
important points. He gave 
the orders to fire and fixed 
the moment for the abandoned 
British guns to be brought in: 
he commanded the Boer artillery 
to be silent, so that the Eng- 
lish thought that the bridge 
across the Tugela was not 
covered by Boer guns and 
allowed their two batteries to 
advance too far. In a word, the 
whole credit of this battle and 
all the following battles on 
the Tugela is due to him. 
But Louis Botha remained 
the same modest, patient man 
as before. 

Meanwhile, General Joubert 
died, on the 27th of March 
1900, and, at his express desire. 
Louis Botha was made Acting 
Commandant General. It is 
easily understood that, by that 
time, there was none to cavil 
at this appointment. Every- 
one had built his faith upon the young 
general whom, six months earlier, the 
members of the Volksraad had not thought 
worthy of a command. But it was an 
unfavourable time at which Louis Botha 
took up the command -in -chief The 
Boers were demoralized. They no longer 
thought of making a stand against 
Lord Roberts' gigantic army. The 
positions had been spendidly prepared; 




e; o o ■ 
3 



10 



COMMANDANT GENERAL LOUIS BOTHA. 



119 




THE HAIL WAY BRIDGE AT WASCHBANK (NATAL), BLOWN UP WITH DYNAMITE 

BY THE BOERS. 



but the burghers fled before there was 
any real danger. And the Boer army 
became smaller at each mile that it 
retreated. Tempted by Lord Roberts' 
specious promises in his proclamations of 
the 1st and 31st of May 1900, the 
combatants laid down their arms in 
thousands. Louis Botha's kindness and 
patience were of no avail. Still he did 
not lose courage. He called what had 



occurred a purging of the ranks. But 
he was determined to make his power 
felt behind the Boer lines. He was 
determined to show that not even a 
British army can protect a burgher 
who has betrayed his country. Patrols 
of volunteers crossed and recrossed the 
Transvaal by his command, captured 
the false patriots who had acted as 
guides or shown other services to the 




ANOTHKH VIEW OF THE ABOVE. 



10' 



120 



HEKOES OK THE BOEB WAlt. 



enemy, and brought them into the Boer quietly left 
linos, where they 
received their due 
punishment. Due is 
hardly the right 
word here: if Presi- 
dentSteijn and Louis 
Botha had been less 
gentle towards trai- 
tors and insisted 
that they should 
be sentenced to 
death instead of 
imprisonment, the 
treachery would 
never have increased 
to that alarming 
extent. 

But Louis Botha 
is too gentle by 
nature: a quality 
which he shares 
with all the Bothas. 
True , he brooks 
no breach of law 
or order; but he 
is not strong enough 

to exact the utmost penalties of the law. to preserve 
Scarce had the Transvaal Government back to his 




THE LATE GENERAL CHRISTIAN BUT 
He died November 19U2. 



Pretoria, on the approach 
of the English, 
when the in- 
habitants began to 
plunder a great 
government store 
full of provisions. 
This looting was 
reported to General 
Botha, as was the 
state of complete 
anarchy that pre- 
vailed in the capital. 
Without a moment's 
delay, he rode to 
Pretoria, instituted 
a committee which 
was made respon- 
sible for peace and 
order and the good 
conduct of affairs, 
charged a number 
of mounted bur- 
ghers with police 
duties, issued a 
proclamation calling 
upon the inhabitants 
and then hastened 



II A 



order 

positions 




THE TUGELA RAILWAY BRIDGE AT COLENSO, DESTROYED 16 November 1899. 



COMMANDANT GENEEAL LOUIS BOTHA. 



121 



This is a signal instance 
of Botha's swift and able 
methods. The most striking 
proof was given in Sep- 
tember 1900, when, in the 
midst of the war, he found 
time and opportunity tho- 
roughly to reform the regu- 
lations of the South African 
Republic regarding the 
commandoes. Till that time, 
the officers of the Boer army 
had been elected by the 
burghers. After the inaugu- 
ration of the new rules, on 
the 6thof October 1900, these 
appointments lay with the 
Commandant General: a very 
thorough change, rendered 
necessary by the fact that 
the personal element played 
far too great a part in the 
elections and often thrust 
the claims of military capacity 
into the background. 

It is a remarkable thing 
that, although Louis Botha 
never acted with great 
severity, everyone attached 
great importance to his good 
or bad opinion. Pretoria 
had long been occupied, and 
Louis de Souza, the former 
Secetary of the War Depart- 
ment, of which the Com- 
mandant General was the 
head, knew that Louis Botha 
was "banjo, angry with him." 
One day, when a friend got 
per mission to leave the ca- 
pital in order to join the 
general, Souza asked him 
kindly to put in a good word 
for him with the young Com- 
mander-in-Chief. And this 
is one instance out of many. 

Botha exercises an immediat 
indescribable charm and a sympathetic 
influence upon all who come into contact 
with him. The high forehead, fche 




nd 



calm, biue-grey eves, the manly face, 
the kind, attractive smile playing about 
his mouth, the well-built, muscular form, 
the pleasan! manners all combine to 



122 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



stamp him as a man of refinement and 
of clear common-sense. Whence did this 
man derive his obvious culture? That 
is the secret of so many Boer characters. 
He was born at Vrede, in the Orange 
Free State, a village founded by his 
father. In his youth, he watched the 
sheep on the veldt. He has taught 
himself all he knows. He speaks Dutch 
and English fluently, and writes both 



held in common with the late General 
Joubert. They were astonished to find 
that he often had reserves in hand on 
which they had not reckoned : a simple 
secret, the explanation of which lay in his 
excellent distribution of the commandoes 
along the fighting line. They looked 
up to him with ever increasing respect, 
because he rejected all Lord Roberts' 
brilliant offers and remained true to the 




BOER ARTILLERY IN ACTION AT COLEXSO: 15 December 1899. On this wide 
jjlain was fought the bloody battle which ended in one of the greatest defeats experienced 
by the English in the war. Through the plain winds the Tugela, to whose south bank 
the English brought their guns. Two batteries, however, advanced too quickly and too 
far. The lioers took advantage of this mistake to open fire from their trenches; and 
the men working the guns and their escort fell. Seven times the English made heroic 
efforts to save the guns; but the teams were shot down and the men trying to serve them 
were each time driven back with heavy loss. Eleven guns with all their ammunition fell 
into the hands of the Boers. 



languages fairly well. He is acquainted 
with all the forms of European society, 
and is a gentleman in every sense of 
the word. He is a self-made man 
without the latter's brag and arrogance. 
He is the aristocrat of the healthy mind 
in the healthy body. 

His burghers valued him for his 
prudence, which led them into no un- 
necessary danger, a prudence which he 



cause of independence, when so many 
others had succumbed to temptation. 
They were always drawing new strength 
from his spirit, which remained un- 
daunted in the face of all reverses, from 
his kindliness, which remained imperturb- 
able, despite the endless privations 
which he cheerfully shared with the 
least of the burghers. The Boers, who 
themselves are models of what patient 



124 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



men should be, respected his patience, 
and told exaggerated stories of his 
really very 

great powers 
of work. 

The Repub- 
licans have had 
no more capable 
tactician than 
tli is young 

general. De la 
Key may be 
more dashing, 
Ben Viljoen 
more gallant, 
Beijers more 
reckless, De 
\\ et more art- 
ful; but not one 
of them was 
able to lay such 
excellent plans 
as Louis Botha. 
Once he had 
worked out a 
plan, it was 
complete in 

all its details. These fitted together 
like the links of a chain. That is why 




VIADUCT IN THE BIGGARSBERG (Natal), WRECKED WITH 
DYNAMITE BY THE BOERS. 



Botha was the right man in the right 
place as Commander-in-Chief. He gave 

all the com- 
mandoes, even 
the smallest 
and most dis- 
tant, his orders, 
and all worked 
according to 
his plans, with 
the exception 
of De la Key, 
who acted quite 
independently. 
Louis Botha 
was undoubt- 
edly the man 
for war on the 
large scale. He 
has, it is true, 
displayed talent 
in the guerrilla, 
but his force 
did not lie 
there so much 
as in the grande 
guerre. Two 
qualities lifted the Commandant General 
Botha above his predecessor. He did 




THE RAILWAY BRIDGE OVER THE SUNDAY RIVER (NATAL), REPAIRED BY THK 
TRANSVAALERS. The English repair bridges in the same manner, or else build a kind of 
bridge in the bed of the river. These are, of course, only make-shifts, and (£uite unable to 
resist the rapids, especially after the tropical rains, when the force of the current becomes 

exceedingly strong. 



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HEROES OF THE BOEB WAR. 



not lose courage so 
quickly as Joubert, 
and he had a greater 
talent for organi- 
zation and adminis- 
tration. 

It is a remarkable 
thing that the whole 
of the Old Guard of 
1880-1881 had fallen 
out of the fight, and 
that the war was 
being continued by 
the younger African 
generation. Piet 

Joubert was dead, 
General Kock killed, 
Piet Cronje a prisoner, 
Paul Kruger abroad, 
and Louis Botha, De 
Wet, De la Rey, 
Beijers, Jan Smuts, 




GENERAL C. L. BEIJERS of the Transvaal 



1 Lertzog, Ben Viljoen, 
Kritzinger and others 
all worthily replaced 
their predecessors. 

In the First Volks- 
raad, Louis Botha 
was a calm speaker, 
who thought every 
subject out before 
speaking, was never 
carried away by 
excitement, always 
kept within the limits 
of parliamentary de- 
bate. He had been 
a member of the 
highest legislative 
body since 1896 and 
had, from the begin- 
ning, distinguished 
himself by his clear- 
ness of judgment 



ERASER, 
orderly. 



VAN VELDEN 

Secretary to Acting 
State President 
Schalk Burger. 




BE WET 

Military Secretary to 

Commandant General 

Botha. 



COMMANDANT LIEUTENANT 
GENERAL GENERAL VISCOUNT 
LOUIS KITCHENER, G. C B. 

BOTHA. 



MAJOR GENERAL 
SIR IAN HAMILTON, 
K. C. B., Chief of Staff 



THE CONFERENCE BETWEEN LORD KITCHENER AND COMMANDANT GENERAL 
LOUIS BOTHA, AT MIDDELBURG : 28 February l'JOO. 



COMMANDANT GENERAL LOUIS BOTE \. 



127 



and especially by his innate good- 
breeding. 

He was a Progressive in politics, 
and was formerly an ardent defender 
of Schalk Burger's policy, as set forth 
in the well-known Industrial Report. In 
1898, during the famous debate on the 
Dynamite Concession, he was in his 
best form, and never, during my five 
years' career as a Transvaal parliament- 
ary reporter, have ] heard such brilliant 
speeches as those delivered by Louis 
Botha in support of the continuance 
of the concession. 

He was no partisan opponent of 
President Kruger's methods of govern- 
ment. He was prepared to 
support Oom Paul in every 
good proposal, but also to 
fight with all his might 
against any measure of 
which he disapproved. 
However keen and des- 
tructive his criticism, he 
never forgot to observe 
the forms of debate. 
Often, during the adjourn- 
ment, he would continue 
his discussion with the 
President, who usually 
grew very excited, while 
Botha remained ever 
calm and polite. He 
is affability personified, 
listens to everybody, and is 
not strong enough roundly 
to refuse a request. In 
every- day life he is an ex- 
ceedingly agreeable per- 
son, feels at home wher- 
ever he may be, and is 
able to talk on almost any 
subject. Red Cross doctors 



and volunteers with the Boers, when 
they learnt to know Louis Botha, grew 
enthusiastic on the subject of his 
character. 

A curious fact, which should be 
mentioned here, is that Louis Botha, 
who lived in Natal as a youth, was 
once a member of the Natal Volunteers. 
Together with Lucas Meijer, he assisted 
Cetewayo's son, Dinizulu, the Zulu chief, 
to bring his fellow chief, Sibepu, into sub- 
jection and thus restore order in Zululand. 
In return for this aid, the Boers in 1884, 
as we know, received a large tract of 
ground, the present District of Vrijheid, 
as it has been called since li 




COMMANDANT GENERAL LOUIS BOTHA. lie was only 35 
years of age when apponted to Lis high position, owing to his rare abi- 
lity. He won world-wide renown iu the battles in Natal: the Tugela, 
Sp'ion Kop aud Vaalkrans. He is a great strategist. The grey which 
he is riding was a gift from the inhabitants of Pretoria, and was 
presented to him after the Battle of Coleuso (15 December L899). 




CHRISTIAN DE WET, 

FORMERLY CHIEF COMMANDANT GENERAL OP THE FRKE STATE FORCES 
AND MEMBER OF THE VOLKSRAAD FOR BOVEN-MODDERRIVER. 



CHAPTER XV. 



CHIEF COMMANDANT GENERAL CHRISTIAN DE WET 



THE first time I met the now famous 
general was at Jacobsdaal. General 
De la Rey introduced me. Oom Chris- 
jan gave me his hand, pressed mine 
hard, but said little. Perhaps I should 
look upon him with other eyes now: 
but I remember very well that, at that 
time, he did not make a great impression 
upon me. Beside De la Rey, with the 
thinker's head and the dark, glittering 
eyes, De Wet seemed tame and spirit- 
less. Only the short, broad figure, the 
large swelling breast denoted great 
bodily strength and muscular force, as 
in a bull. 

That evening, the two generals started, 
with a patrol of 150 men, for the rear 
of the English position at Two Rivers, 
intending to blow up the railway line. 
The expedition failed, because the man 
whose duty it was to work the dyna- 
mite was unable to discharge the ex- 
plosive. De la Rey was excited at the 
failure; but still more furious was Oom 
Chrisjan. Throughout the day, I had been 



learning to know him as a man of very 
few words; but now, in his disappoint- 
ment, he growled and grumbled, with 
his loud voice, and roughly and bluntly 
rated the culprit. During those repeated 
outburts of temper, his otherwise dull 
eyes flashed fire. 

Later, I met General De Wet, at 
different times, at Magersfontein ; but 
he was always still and introspective, 
almost shy. Piet Cronje and De la 
Rey were generals who had already 
distinguished themselves, one in the War 
of 1880-1881, the other in the present 
war. De Wet had not yet had an oppor- 
tunity of showing his masterly talents. 
Probably he did not even feel the power 
that lay concealed within him. In any 
case, the knowledge that the two Trans- 
vaal generals were his superiors in 
experience evidently oppressed him. He 
felt drawn towards General De la Rey, 
who was annoyed at General Cronje's 
inactivity. But, at the same time, lie 
was a little afraid of Oom Piet, who 



30 



[EKOES OF THE lioKIt WAR. 




always carried his plans through, 
stubbornly, rudely, and suffered no one 
by his side. De la Rev was not afraid 
to tackle Oom Piet. He knew him in 
the Transvaal. But to De Wet Cronje 
was the much honoured hero of Pot- 
chefstroom and the Jameson Raid. He 
looked up to him with the adoration 



of a patriot for the great men of his 
national history. 

The Boers did not think much, at 
that time, of Oom Chrisjan. President 
Steijn had sent for him from Natal, 
where he had the rank of commandant 
with the commandoes, and promoted 
him to general. The Free Staters 



CHIEF COMMANDANT GENERAL CRISTIAN DE WET 



i:;i 



failed to see in what way De Wet 
had deserved this distinction. They 
admitted that he was brave, but there 
were commandants who had shown 
themselves in no way inferior to him 
in this respect. And so, in December 

1899, when an election took place for 
a Free Stater to command in chief on 
the Western border, the Burghers elected 
Ignaas Ferreira, the Commandant of 
Ladybrand, to the post. General De 
Wet received one vote less than his 
successful competitor. 

Oom Chrisjan first made his mark 
at Blauwbank, on the 15th of February 

1900. News had come that the English 
were marching from the South in the 
direction of Koffijfontein. Cronje thought 
that they meant to enter the Free State 
by Koffijfontein, and sent De Wet, with 
his own brother, Commandant Andries 
Cronje, to Blauwbankto repel theinvasion. 
Here De Wet captured the enemy's huge 
convoy, and, as often happens when an 
officer takes suddenly a fine prize, 
established his reputation. Everyone 
talked of De Wet and even, for a mo- 
ment, forgot the defeat of Cronje, who 
had, on the same day, 15 February 1900, 
evacuated the Magersfontein position, 
and the news that had come to band 
of the relief of Kimberley. 

Oom Chrisjan showed his burghers 
at Blauwbank that he was no easy man 
to deal with. He drove them back to 
their trenches with his whip when they 
attempted to fly, and they became so 
afraid of their angry general that 
they no longer dared retire. 

Three days later, he arrived with 
his commandoes at Paardenberg, where 
Cronje was hemmed in by the English. 
His fame preceded him: 

"De Wet is coming!" 

And this shows the influence 
of a name. It was as though the 
burghers had suddenly been imbued 
with fresh spirit. They had lost 
courage latterly owing to all their 
reverses: but De Wet would put eveiy- 



thing right again. On that 18th of 
February, all the commandoes fought 
bravely; but Cronje again was stubborn. 
He refused to leave the women and 
children and his baggage behind and 
to cut his way through the British 
lines. De Wet, who was now in command, 
was constantly contriving new plans to 
release Cronje. But the numerical 
superiority of the enemy was too over- 
whelming. Still he did not lose courage. 

I distinctly remember the 23rd of 
February 1900. De Wet had planned 
a general assault. It was a daring 
scheme. All the mounted commandoes 
were simultaneously to storm the British 
positions. Oom Chrisjan stood with his 
staff on a kopje, whence he could 
command the whole field. He saw the 
burghers gallop bravely to within rifle- 
shot of the positions. Then came the 
rattle of rifle-fire. The men advanced, 
but were compelled to fall back. They 
did not see the enemy, did not know 
where nor in which direction to fire. 
The brave Winburghers were swallowed 
up in the enemy's wedge-shaped position. 
The Lee-Metfords cracked from three 
sides. The Winburghers had to surren- 
der. There was no other escape from 
death. We on the kopje saw this. It 
was a tragic spectacle. De Wet said 
not a word. He only compressed his 
lips tightly together, and his features 
assumed that biting aspect which I 
have found again in- his later portraits. 
It was a resolute man that stood that 
morning on the kopje. But tears gleamed 
in his eyes. 

In the early morning of the 27th 
of February, I learnt from some Kaffirs 
that Cronje' had surrendered. They 
came from his laager, where the English 
had let them go free. I refused to 
believe the fatal news, saddled my horse, 
and rode over to De Wet. I found the 
general silent, and introspective as usual, 
and asked him if he had received any 
confirmation of the report. He too 
had heard it, but did not believe it. 




COMMANDANT J. H. OLIVIER. 

COMMANDANT OLIVIER, the hero of Stormberg; a great tactician. He and the 

Transvaal Commandant. Lemmer, succeeded, notwithstanding the occupation of Bloem- 

fnntein, in extricating the whole Boer force in the North of Cape Colony (21 March 1900), 

without losing a gun, waggon or horse. 



CHIEF COMMANDANT GENERAL CHRISTIAN DE WET. 



133 



And lie told me this with something 
grim and resolute in voice, look and 
bearing, as though he meant to say, 
"Come what may, it will make no 
difference to my resistance". 

Poplar Grove (7 March 1900) and 
Driefontein (10 March 1900) were not 
successes for De Wet. They showed 
that his strength did not lie in the grande 
guerre. 

At Poplar Grove he was warned 
in time by his scouts of the encircling 
movement of the enemy. He did not 
strengthen his flanks. True, it would 
not have availed him against the superior 
forces; but to neglect the precaution 
was a mistake. 

Two days later, he defended the 
approach to Bloemfontein with 600 men. 
What could he do, however, against 
Lord Roberts' army? But it was a 
point of honour with him not to give 
up the capital without striking a blow 
in its defence. The other officers had 



wished to do so, but not he. He was 
too grimly determined to contest every 
inch of territory against the enemy. 

And, in the evening, when he left 
Bloemfontein, knowing that, the next 
morning, the English would make their 
unimpeded entry, he assured his friends 
that he would return one day when 
the Free State was free again. This 
was no bluster, but a sacred promise, 
uttered in deadly earnest. The words, 
so calmly spoken, gave fresh courage 
to his officers. De Wet's determination 
was contagious. 

From that day his epoch of fame 
begins. The victories of Sanna's Post 
(1 April 1900) and Reddersburg (5 April 
1900) bade the fighting Boers be of 
good cheer. De Wet hovered around 
Bloemfontein. He cut off the Water 
Works and held them in his possession 
until Lord Roberts began to march to 
Pretoria (3 May 1900). He spoilt the 
British joy at the occupation of Johannes- 







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ARMSTRONG GUN CAPTURED AT STORMBERG. Rushing General Gatacre's battery, the 

Boers succeeded in in driving off the English artillery, which wire unable to hold out against 

their rifles, though they defended their batteries with the greatest courage. Three pieces fell 

into tho hands of the heroes of Stormberg (10 December 1899). 

11 



134 



iii:i;o]> <•!•• Tin; r.or.i; war. 



burg by his victory over the 13th 
Battalion of Imperial Yeomanry at 
Lindley (31 May 1900). He embittered 
the delight at the surrender of Pretoria 
on the 5th of June by capturing a 
large train of supplies at Honingspruit 
on the 6th and surprising the Derby- 
shires on the 7th. 

De Wet had developed into the 
man he was thenceforward to show 
himself, the general whose talents 
compelled respect from the very enemy. 
In the days of adversity, he had learnt 
what the Boer Army lacked: discipline. 
And, with all his strength of will and 
all his strictness, he set himself to rule 
his burghers. He lashed the cowards 
mercilessly. He seldom carried a rifle, 
but he was never seen without his 
sjambok. He maintained an iron dis- 
cipline and was inexorable if his curt 
orders were not swiftly carried out. He 
suffered no neglect of duty from common 
burghers or officers. His brother Piet, 
who had spent the time near Lindley 
doing nothing, while Chrisjan himself 
had acted with such great success at 
Roodewal Siding, was deprived of his 
rank, because he had allowed a convoy 
of 50 waggons, with a feeble escort, to 
enter Lindley unimpeded. In this way, 
Oom Chrisjan showed himself to be 
severe, but just, refusing to overlook 
any offence, even on the part of his 
own family. No offenders escaped him. 

The general, with his iron frame, 
which knew no fatigue, often inspected 
his pickets at night in person. His 
burghers were more afraid of being 
surprised by their general than b}^ the 
enemy. And, notwithstanding his harsh- 
ness, all his men remained with him. 
Only a very few had run away to other 
commandoes or surrendered. The others 
were faithful to him to the death. They 
admired him for his uprightness, his 
fairness, his strict justice, his courage, 
his resolution, his calmness in the 
presence of danger. His mighty will 
swayed them all. 



De Wet could lead his men into 
any fight. They had unlimited confid- 
ence in his generalship. They believed 
in him fanatically. They followed him 
as the Turks followed the green 
flag of Mohammed. He saved them 
repeatedly when escape seemed hopeless 
and when all the other officers were 
thinking of surrender. At such moments, 
I have no doubt that De Wet's mouth 
again assumed that resolute fold. He 
sat grimly for a while, huddled into 
himself, and then his plan was ripe. 
It was always a very simple, in no way 
complicated, plan: the egg of Columbus, 
in fact. And its very simplicity ensured 
its unfailing success. 

As often as I read, in Europe, that 
De Wet had been hopelessly surrounded 
and had still succeeded in escaping, I 
used to think of his own words: 

"A Boer first gets dangerous when 
you succeed in surrounding him.'' 

He uttered these words on the Modder 
River, at the time of the investment of 
Cronje, after he had barely escaped being 
surrounded. This was the first time that 
he extricated himself from a British 
trap. How often he succeeded since! The 
Boers called him the "jackal," referring 
to the craftiness with which he made 
his way through any outlet. And yet 
it was determination rather than craft- 
iness. De Wet would not surrender. 
He has said so himself: 

"As long as it is possible — and it 
is always possible — for me to get 
through, escape and fight again, I 
shall do so. When necessary, I shall 
run away, and, if the others will not 
follow me, I shall run away alone. But 
surrender and lose our liberty: never!" 

He prefered to take any dangerous 
work on himself personally, if he feared 
that another might fall back or waver 
at the crucial moment. He, with his 
nerves of steel, knew neither fear nor 
hesitation. 

And he always escaped the threat- 
ening danger. History tells of the 




II 



136 



HEEOES OF THE BOER WAR. 



most wonderful deliveries. The traitor 
who brought a patrol to take De 
Wet prisoner when staying at a 
certain place found the bird flown when 
he returned. When the greater part 
of his followers were captured, De Wet 
escaped, as at Bothaville, on the 5th 
of November 1900. When his pursuers 
thought that they had him at last, he 
was far away. They thought to find 
him in a house: it so happened that he 
was sleeping outside. This happened 
many times. Innumerable attempts were 
made to catch him, and all failed, 
whereas his plans to escape invariably 
succeeded. His men saw in this a 
higher Hand Which spared him. He 
had become to them the apostle of 
their liberty, and he wielded an une- 
qualled power over them, which he 
knew how to employ with rare tal- 
ent in the service of his country. At 
one time, he was with this commando; 
at another, with that. Accompanied 
only by a few trusted followers, he 
rode through the land. To-day he was 
here; to-morrow there. He needed little 
rest. He took it when he could. And 
it was then, perhaps, that he was most 



dangerous to his enemies, who, at 
such times, seemed to perceive his pres- 
ence at three or four places at once. 
In those rare days of inaction, he 
thought out new plans and suddenly 
broke from his rest and darted through 
the country, striking his blows with 
inconceivable swiftness and sureness. 
When necessary, in a few days he 
would gather a great force round him, 
which as suddenly dispersed. Slowness 
did not exist for him. He felt that 
the enervating influence which he exer- 
cised over the enemy lay in the rapid- 
ity of his operations and movements, 
and he had carried discipline to so high 
a pitch that his men executed all his 
commands immediately and swiftly. He 
had taught the slow-moving Boer, whose 
"steady on, man" lay always on his 
lips, to be quick and resolute in all 
things. 

De Wet, the man who is square of 
build and square in character, cannot 
endure half-patriots. He preferred to let 
them go from his commandoes, rather 
than remain. He himself sacrificed all 
for liberty. He expected his followers 
to be prepared to do as much. The 




PART OP THE DESTROYED BRIDGE OVER THE VET RIVER (ORANGE FREE 
STATE). On the retreat from Kroonstad, the Boers blew up the bridge almost in the faces 
of the astounded British. The work of destruction was admirably planned: of five arches, 
three were blown to the ground. 



CHIEF COMMANDANT GENERAL CHRISTIAN DE WET. 



137 




ANOTHER VTEW OE THE DESTROYED BRIDGE OVER THE VET RIVER. 



honest enemy he respected. He treat- 
ed his prisoners as well as, in the 
circumstances, he could. But on traitors 
to his nation he swore vengeance. He 
would have liked to make short work 
of all the Boers who acted as guides 
to the enemy of their country, of all 
his countrymen who had taken up 
British arms to fight against him and 
his faithful followers. He could for- 
give, though he could not understand, 
a man who took the oath of neu- 
trality because he was weary of the 
struggle for independence ; but that a 
man should assist the enemy made him 
furious. For De Wet is passionate and 
hot-tempered. He would fly out against 
his highest officer as against the lowest 
burgher. But, when it was a question 
of saving his fellows at the risk of his 
own life, he knew no moment's hesita- 
tion and would at once obey the impulse 
of his heart. The loss of a burgher 
who had done his duty touched him 
deeply, though he said little, the sombre, 
silent man. 

When Lieutenant Xix, the Dutch 



military attache, was fatally wounded 
at Sanna's Post and had to be left 
behind in a farm-house, because De 
Wet had no ambulance with him, he 
stood long by the bed-side of the 
wounded man, holding his hand in 
his own. The tears stood in his eyes 
as he expressed his regret at having to 
leave the gallant young Hollander, and 
he could not tear himself away until 
his commandoes were far ahead with the 
booty. 

Under a hard and sombre husk, 
De Wet conceals a noble kernel, a sen- 
sitive heart, an honourable character and 
a sacred love of country. 

It was shortly after he had heard 
of the destruction of his homestead. 
He rode off accompanied by only two 
faithful comrades, Generals Froneman 
and Piet Fourie. It was a flying, silent 
ride. When they approached his place, 
De Wet rode on alone, while the two 
officers posted themselves on a neigh- 
bouring kopje. The great general re- 
mained long away. He knelt bv the 
grave of one of his children and prayed : 



138 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



and then, with one last look, printed 
the image of the destruction deep in 
his memory. Then he returned to his 
two silent companions, and the ride 
back was resumed with the same silence 
as before. This time there gleamed no 
moisture in De Wet's eyes; but his face 
was set and pale and the lips pinched 
together. 

For long, no one knew of this pil- 
grimage to De Wet's destroyed dwelling, 
until General Fourie told the story 

A SCOUT. F. K. FRANCIS. 



his sacred conviction that he saw a 
higher Power in all things, and he was 
prepared to accept his lot, whatever it 
might be, at the hands of the Supreme 
Being. But this he had said to Eng- 
land, that his death or his capture 
should not put an end to the struggle 
in the Free State. In one of his well- 
known speeches, delivered shortly be- 
fore his invasion of the Cape Colony, 
he said: 

"Should I drop out of the fight, 1 

CHIEF COMMANDANT COMMANDANT 
GENERAL DE WET. VANGRAHX. 




NEL JUNIOR. 



F. K. COLSON. 



DE WET'S 
SECRETARY. 



COMMANDANT NEL. 



GENERAL DE WET, HIS SECRETARY, SOME COMMANDANTS, FIELD 
CORNETS AND A SCOUT AT POTCHEFSTROOM. 



to Dr. van Broekhuizen , the predi- 
kant at Pretoria. At the same time, I 
have never heard the assertion con- 
firmed that De Wet declared that this 
piece of destruction should cost Eng- 
land seven millions. To believe such 
a tale would be to do an injustice to 
the noble impulses of Oom Chrisjan's 
character. 

General De Wet was aware of the 
power and influence which he wielded. 
But he modestly denies that he pos- 
sessed any special gifts. He declared as 



have appointed my successor." 

And, when a man like De Wet 
spoke thus, it was safe to rely that 
the successor would have been worthy 
of his master. 



De Wet represented the borough of 
Boven Modder River in the Volksraad. 
With his resolute spirit of independence, 
however, he took up his duty in the 
manner which he thought best. He 



CHIEF COMMANDANT GENERAL CHRISTIAN DE WET. 



139 



was chary of speech and, when he had 
anything to say, was brief and to 
the point. On the other hand, when 
unimportant subjects came under dis- 
cussion, he disappeared from the Volks- 
raad and went to Johannesburg- or Kim- 
berley on business. Many of his con- 
stituents refused to be reconciled to this 
view which their representative took of 
his duties, and it was an open question 



whether De Wet would have been re- 
elected. Not that he would have cared, 
for he was never a man who strove for 
power and consideration. Nor had the 
tortuous paths of politics any attraction 
for him. He did not understand them, 
perhaps refused to understand them. 
He may not have shone in the Volks- 
raad, but he was always a man of 
strong and doughty character. 



LIEUT. THOMPSON 

(Holland). 



CAPT. ALLUM CAPT. DEMANGE 
(Norway) (France). 




COL. GURKO MR. FISCHER 

(Russia). (Orange Free State). 



LIEUT. DUVAL 
(France). 



CAPT. REICHMAN 

(United States of 

America). 

MILITARY ATTACHES AND THEIR ADJUTANT, MR. FISCHER. It was difficult for 
the attach/is to keep up with the Doer Commandoes, because of the latter's mobility; 
dangerous too, as was proved by the loss of the Netherlands attache, Lieut. Nix, who was 
mortally wounded at Sanna's Post (1 April 1900). Bnt they were always eager to be present 
at the interesting Boer incursions and enthusiastic in their praises of Boer tactics. 




J. H. DE LA REY, 

THE TRANSVAAL GENERAL, EORMERLY MEMBER OF THE FIRST VOLKS- 
RAAD OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC FOR LICHTENBURG. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



GENERAL J. H. DE LA REY. 



GENERAL, hadn't we better go and 
talk somewhere else?" 
It was at Magersfontein , on a cool 
and lovely morning, towards the end of 
December 1899. General Cronje and 
his staff had come to make their morning- 
inspection of Major Albrecht's laager, 
where I had spent the night as the 
guest of the Free State Artillery. Oom 
Piet had climbed Spionkopje with his 
officers, who stood examining the British 
camp at Modder River, also known as Two 
Rivers, through their field-glasses. Oom 
Koos De la Rey remained talking to me. 
He wore a white silk necktie round his 
throat and a large grey wide-awake 
on his head; in his left hand he held 
a piece of biltong, in his right hand a 
formidable- looking knife, with which 
he cut the sun-dried meat into slices, 
holding them down on his knife with his 
thumb and thus conveying them to his 
mouth. Three or four shells had burst at 
a hundred paces from us, for the English 
were wishing us good-morning. I found 



the place a little unheimisch, and, at 
any rate, was not able to devote as 
much attention as I could have wished 
to the conversation. The Transvaal 
general, on the other hand, was too 
much engrossed in it to take much 
notice of the shells falling around us. 

We were speaking of the evacuation 
of the positions at Two Rivers, on the 
28th of November 1899, when General 
De la Rey had commanded the position 
which had been most vigorously bombard- 
ed by the English. Evening fell, and, 
for the first time since his advance 
to the relief of Kimberley, the enemy 
had been unable to force the burgbers 
to retire. The English were falling 
back, when suddenly General Cronje, 
who commanded the combined Repub- 
lican forces, gave the incomprehensible 
order to evacuate the position. Furiously, 
De la Rev exclaimed: 

"But don't you see we've kept the 
Held?" 

Cronje, stubborn as ever, stood to 



142 



IIEKOKS OF THK I'.OKIJ WAR. 







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his opinion. The Fauresmith 
commando had been driven from 
its positions and this, to his 
mind, made a longer stand at 
Two Rivers unpractical. The 
orders of the general com- 
manding-in-chief were executed; 
but when, next morning at 
day-break, two of the Boer 
guards visited the abandoned 
positions, there was no English- 
man in sight. 

"My son was killed there," 
General De la Rey resumed, 
"but his loss did not cost me 
so many tears as the abandon- 
ment of the Two Rivers posi- 
tions. Had Ave remained there, 
the English would have been 
compelled to fall back upon 
Great River; for there is not 
enough water for so many 
men and beasts between Modder 
River Station and the Orange 
River. Once we had got them 
back so far, we could easily 
have effected a junction with 
our forces under Grobler and 
Hendrik Schoeman at Coles- 
berg." 

This subject made Oom 
Koos so sad and affected him 
so greatly that he paid no 
attention to the shells bursting 
around us. 

The morning and the con- 
versation will remain in my 
memory all my life long. 
Melancholy sounded in his 
voice: I read sorrow in his 
honest eyes. It made me shiver 
to hear him say: 

"My son was killed there, 
but his loss did not cost me so 
many tears as the abandonment 
of the Two Rivers positions.'' 

It was the first time I had 
heard the cause of liberty raised 
in such sacred earnest above 
everything, even above a 



GENERAL J. II. DE LA KEY. 



143 



father's love for his child; and 
those words always returned to my 
memory when, afterwards, I learnt how 
De la Rey had defended his positions 
to the last. On each occasion I felt 
within myself how much pain, how 
many scalding tears those retreats must 
have cost him. 

One who saw the general but a 
short while ago has told rue that his 
hair and beard have turned quite white. 
I can easily imagine it; but it was not 
necessary for him to add that his spirit 
remained unbroken. I knesv that. I 



and, on the 7th of March 1902, at 
Tweebosch, he captured General Lord 
Methuen and his force. 

Wherever things were going badly, 
De la Key was sent forthwith. When 
the Boer commandoes on the Western 
frontier, south of Kim berley, were refusing 
to act together, De la Rey went down 
to restore harmony and effect the ad- 
vance towards Great River. Unfortu- 
nately, while he was on his way to Mafe- 
king, the Boers were driven from their 
positions at Belmont, on the 23rd of 
November 1899, and, two days later, 




TRANSVAAL ARTILLERY WITH HOWITZERS AT THE SIEGE OP MAFEKING 

None but Boers served these howitzers. The precision of their aim was much admired by 

the foreign officers who saw them in action. 



knew Oom Koos. He was the most 
energetic of all the Transvaal leaders. 
He was at the same time the most 
irreconcilable. He would have grimly 
defended his independence to the death. 
He was the De Wet of the South 
African Republic and can boast of 
having achieved the first success in 
this war and also the last great Boer 
victory. On the 12th of October 1899, 
at Kraaipan, he derailed and captured 
the armoured train and took Captain 
Nesbitt, V.C.j and his 30 men prisoners; 



on the 25th, they had to yield before 
superior forces at Rooilaagte, or Graspan, 
although on this occasion De la Rev 
took part in the battle. I have already 
described above to what good purpose 
he fought at Two Rivers. 

Gradually, mutual confidence among 
the burghers was restored. If General 
Cronje, however, had succeeded in car- 
rying out his plans, the Battle of 
Magersfontein would certainly have been 
lost as well. Oom Piet, who could never 
give up his peculiar preference for po- 




MAJOR ALBRECHT. 

MAJOR ALBRECHT, the commandant of the Free State Artillery, the man who 
turned his two hundred men into a model corps. By birth a German, after taking part 
in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, Major Albrecht was charged by the Free State 
with the formation of a corps of artillery-men. He acquitted himself of his task with 
true German thoroughness: his corps was an example of bravery, strict performance of 
duty, and capacity. Major Albrecht was taken prisoner in General Cronj£'s surrender 
at Paardenberg, on the 27th of February 1900. 



GENERAL .1. IT. DR LA REY. 



14; 



sitions on the kopjes, in spite 
of the fatal results of these 
positions experienced by the Boers 
at Belmont and Rooilaagte, had 
again had trenches dug in the 
mountain -side. General De la 
Hey, however, brought all his 
influence and persuasive power 
to bear upon the council of war 
to have ditches dug at some 
distance from the mountain. His 
advice was taken and, in con- 
sequence, the English chance 
of hitting their aim became so 
much the smaller. Oom Piet, 
however, refused to be recon- 
ciled to these tactics, until the 
bombardment before the Battle 
of Magersfontein made their use 
as clear to him as day. The 
whole day, from noon till after 
sun-down, the English searched 
the kopjes from top to bottom 
with 48 guns. The result was 
that five burghers were slightly 
wounded. 

Oom Piet's trenches lay full 
of splintered shells and rocks. 
In Oom Koos's positions, where 
the Transvaalers were sheltered, 
one shell only had fallen; 
while the Boers in those ditches 
had not been troubled by the 
broken pieces of rock , which 
usually cause more men to be 
killed and wounded than the shells 
themselves. 

Meanwhile, General Schoeman 
was allowing himself to be 
turned out of his finest positions 
at Colesberg and running every 
chance of being surrounded. 
De la Rey was sent down to 
aid him, and soon all the lost 
positions were recovered. 

Still, he was allowed no 
rest. On the 15th of February 
1900, Magersfontein was evacua- 
ted. Kimberley was relieved 
and Cronje surrounded on the 



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146 



I IK HOES OF THE BOER WAR 



16th. Oom Koos received orders to 
display his talents again. He was de- 
layed, however, at Bloemfontein, and 
Cronje had surrendered before De la 
Key, with his best commandoes, was able 
to reach him. 

AtPriefontein, near Abraham's Kraal, 
on the 10th of March 1900, the enemy 
came in touch with the combined forces 
of the two friends, De Wet and De la 
Rey; and, although panic had set in, 
the latter succeeded in keeping his 
burghers together. The Johannesburg 
and Pretoria Police made a gallant 
stand. De la Rey was everywhere. 
He inspired his men , as usual ; but 
the superiority of numbers was too 
great, and at last, when the British 
bayonets gleamed at a short distance 
and the dark circle of the surrounding- 
troops came ever menacingly nearer, 
the Boers fled. Oom Koos had given 
the order to retreat. His keen glance 
had taken in the situation, and he saw 
that this was no time for hesitation. 
The occasion was too pressing. 

This watchfulness, this care never 
to overlook a trifle which might prove 
fatal were De la Rey's characteristic 
qualities. They served him in attack, 
they were of use to him in defence. The 
Aveak point in a position, a cordon, a 
line struck him as it were by instinct. 
At Two Rivers, he was surrounded, 
with 1,600 men, but scarcely had he 
perceived the clanger threatening him, 
when he at once saw the place where 
he could break through, and swiftly 
executed the manoeuvre which cost him 
hardly a life. 

Another quality that distinguished 
him as a general was his knowledge 
of men. When he gave a difficult or 
important order, he knew the man whom 
he entrusted with it. When it became 
necessary to undertake a decisive and 
undaunted attack, he selected the bravest 
of his fighting men, and there was no 
danger of the plan miscarrying through 
any case of individual cowardice, as so 



often happens with undisciplined forces. 
But then De la Rey kept a sharp eye 
on his burghers. Should he catch one 
of them wavering, he would at once 
drive him on, or contemptuously send 
him away; and, when necessary, he led 
the attack at their head. 

His orders were short, but to the 
point. At Two Rivers, the entire escort 
of Major Albrecht's Free State Artillery 
ran away. The major had no one to 
dispatch with news of his critical posi- 
tion; but De la Rey had noticed it. 
He saw that the English were advancing 
towards the kopje where the guns stood, 
sent for his brother and said, simply: 

"Take three hundred men and bring 
in the guns." 

The guns were saved; but of the 
whole force under the orders of Oom 
Koos, probably no other man would 
have been able to execute this command. 

De la Rey hates sitting still: to 
him, work, action are a necessity. Gen- 
eral Cronje, who, after the Battle of 
Magersfontein, spent nearly two months 
in inactivity, was a mystery to him. 
Oom Piet had to listen to many a 
hard truth from his lips; but De la 
Rey could never move him to action. 
No one was more disappointed with 
Cronje"s much -praised strategy than 
Oom Koos, who was really glad when 
he was sent from Magersfontein to 
Colesberg, where work awaited him. 
He was not the man to stand under 
other generals, even though he knew 
how to obey. He was too energetic, too 
pushing for others. He himself was 
always more thorough than his superiors. 
He was quite able to act independently. 
His commandoes, we know, were the best 
clad and best fed of them all. This is 
no matter for surprise: they lacked neither 
food nor clothes so long as the English 
imported them. Oom Koos took care 
that his commandoes captured new sup- 
plies as they required them. 

This was one of the reasons why 
his burghers remained so undauntedly in 



GENERAL .1. II. DE LA BEY 



147 



the field, in spite of cold and privations. 
Another reason, of course, was their 
confidence in Oom Koos's tactics; and 
a third was to be found in his personal 
character. He has a violent temper: 
that is not to be denied. The dark 
eyes of his characteristic head clearly 
point to his passionateness. And yet 
he was not impetuous. He never hurried 
where importantquestions were concerned. 
And he is as honest as the day. He 
did not keep his opinion to himself, 
but told it roundly, whether flattering 
or offensive. He despised cowards and 
liars with all his heart, and, when he 
flew out at them, made them feel 
small and humiliated. He made no 
bones of punishing a coward with his 
cartridge-belt or sjambok. Liars and 
cowards stood in terror of him; yet 
he turned many a poltroon into a hero. 
Oom Koos was never sullen and 
surly like Cronje. He is affable, but 
serious. He has not Louis Botha's 
attractive smile; but, by the bed-side of 
the sick and wounded, his dark eyes 
would express all his sympathy. And 
the same man who had sat weeping by 
that bed-side would sign a traitor's death- 
sentence with features riged as iron. 

In the First Volksraad, Oom Koos 
sat as Member for Lichtenburg. He 
was very regular in his attendance; 
spoke often, but not too often; was 
liable to terrible fits of temper; and 
was afraid of nobody. He respected 
President Kruger as a statesman, but 



used to criticize him severely as an 
administrator; and, on such occasions, 
he would sometimes say more than was 
seemly in the mouth of one of the 
representatives of the people towards 
the grey Head of the South African 
Republic. But, like most passionate 
people, he was always the first frankly 
to ask for pardon, and he can boast of 
having made very few enemies. 




GENERAL J. KEMP. 




BEN VILJOEN, 

THE TRANSVAAL GENERAL, FORMERLY MEMBER OF TE SECOND VOLKSRAAD 

OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC FOR THE WITWATERSRAND GOLD 

FIELDS (JOHANNESBURG, etc.). 



CHAPTER XVII. 



GENERAL BEN VILJOEN. 



FROM policeman to general. That is 
Ben Viljoen's career. 

Not so very many years ago, the 
man destined to be called upon to be 
Assistant Commandant General had been 
a policeman at Roodepoort, near 
Krugersdorp. But he always felt an 
impulse for higher things, and soon 
there began to appear in Land en 
Volk, at Pretoria, a series of cau- 
series on the Volksraad signed "Klein 
Joggom." Our representatives sometimes 
grew angry at the jokes which Little 
Joggom made at their expense , but 
they were obliged to admit that his 
gossip was often amusing. Various 
nicknames which he gave to the 
members became popular. These cau- 
series were his first steps on the slippery 
path of politics. At that time he was 
still a decided Joubertite. 

Humorous journalism alone was 
not enough to satisfy Ben Viljoen's 
ambition; he wanted to be something 
more than a mere tattler, and he 
founded a paper of his own at Krugers- 
dorp, which he called Ons Volk. He 



had already resigned his billet as a 
guardian of the peace. He determined 
to live by his pen alone. His little 
paper succeeded, for no one can write 
such pleasant Africander as Ben Viljoen. 
Gradually he became the man in 
Krugersdorp. The burghers elected him 
a field cornet and, later, commandant 
of the corps of Mounted Volunteers 
which he had levied. In spite of all 
these distinctions, he did not look upon 
himself as a man of importance: he 
remained a wag, with an imperturbable 
good temper, who made friends with 
all the world. 

As an officer, he learnt to know 
Joubert better, and repeatedly attacked 
him in his paper. He had no patience 
with Joubert's administration, which 
seemed to him too complicated. After 
the Jameson Raid , Ben became a 
Krugerite, and when, at the last presi- 
dential election, the proprietors, in the 
face of his vehement and excited 
protests, sold Ons Folk to the Schalk 
Burgerites, Ben would not own himself 
beaten, but at once began to support 

12 



150 



11KROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



Kruger's candidature with another paper, 
the Voortrekker, and enjoyed the satisfaction 
of seeing that Ons Volk was unable to 
hold its own against its new competitor. 

The member of the Second Volksraad 
for Johannesburg was to retire. Ben 
Viljoen was nominated as the candidate 
of the anti-capitalists and elected. 

Ben now became dignified. He dressed 
himself, in accordance with the rules of 
the Raad, in black from top to toe, and 
for his own pleasure and adornment bought 
a grey top hat. This conventional attire 
suited him quite as well as his police 
or cavalry uniform, for he is a fine- 
looking man. His is not, however, 
the regular Africander type. He is 
slender, with clear-cut features, a dapper 
moustache, clean-shaven cheeks and 
chin , and hair cut in the English 
fashion. The ladies think him charm- 
ing; his colleagues in the Raad thought 
him one of the best of fellows. 



And so Ben became dignified. He 
no longer took part in all sorts of 
uproarious jokes, and he devoted himself 
with his usual energy to his new duties, 
while happily retaining his sense of 
humour and his genial conversational 
powers. In the Volksraad, he showed 
himself a good speaker and an opponent 
of half measures. 

I heard, at the time, from an 
authoritative source that, in one of the 
secret sittings of the Volksraad before 
the war, Ben had a violent difference 
with Mr. R. K. Loveday, then Member 
for Barberton, which ended in Ben's 
being ordered by the Speaker to apolo- 
gize to his colleague. Ben apologized 
for the words he had used, but not 
for the tendency of his remarks. He 
had spoken with conviction and declared 
that he would stick to his guns. I 
do not know whether the story is true, 
but I believe it, first, because I have 




BATTLE ON THE TUGELA. DEFENCE OE VAALKKANS : 5 February 1900. Ben 
Viljoen's commando defended the position with great pluck. There was a hand-to-hand 
fight, but, in spite of their great numbers, the British were unable to capture a single gun. 
All admiration is due to the Boers for their determined resistance, and to the heroism displayed 
by General Ben Viljoen, who brought off a gun when the artillerymen who served it had all 

been shot down. 



GENERAL BEN VIL.TOKN. 



151 




v/r\^ilm 





..., 



A 



A "« 



A/ 



TEANSVAAL MAUSER BANDOLEER WAISTCOAT, worn by the Boers, who used to ornament 
them with the numbers and badges of the British regiments. There is a monogram of tin; South 
African Republic on the pocket in the centre. The police who formed the regular army wore 
this monogram on their shoulder-pieces. The arms in the centre of the last row are those 

of the Orange Free State. 



no doubt of the truthfulness of my 
informant, who was in a position to 
know, and, secondly, because I know 
Ben's excitable but upright character. 

In fact, I was surprised to hear 
later that, as commandant of the Krugers- 
dorpers, he dealt very calmly with his 
people, preferring to argue with them 
rather than storm at them. 

Moreover, he never lost his cheer- 
ful temper and never became despondent. 
He showed himself to be indefatigable, 
implacable and young, strong and 
tough. 

In the early part of the war, the 
conditions were not favourable to Ben's 
distinguishing himself. At Elandslaagte 
(21 October 1899), he succeeded in 
extricating his commando in safety; 
although, at first sight, it seemed 



strange that he was the only one to 
perform the feat. 

AtLadysmith,theEnglish never attack- 
ed his cam]), but contented themselves 
with bombarding him from time to time. 

General Joubert , who saw thai 
Spion Kop was an important point of 
defence, sent Viljoen down to the 
Tugela, in November 1899, to occupy 
the hill. He remained encamped on 
the kop until the 10 th of January 
1900, without being troubled by the 
British. Then he received orders to 
occupy the Vaal Krans, and scarcely 
had he left Spion Kop before the 
English stormed it (23-24 January 1900). 

At last, on the 5th of February 

1900, the English attacked his position, 

but with so great a force that he was 

unable to hold the Vaal Krans. By 

12* 



152 



BEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



his personal courage he saved a Maxim- 
Nordenfeldt gun from the hands of 
the enemy. This crack feat compelled 
the admiration of the British and 
inspired one of Mr. Winston Churchill's 
finest letters in the Morning Post. 

On this occasion, Ben experienced the 
poisonous effects of the lyddite shells. 
He obtained sick leave, and, on return- 
ing to commando, took part in the 



mained there an hour without off- 
saddling, and rode on, not quite so 
merry, but as full of good courage and 
as high-spirited as ever. 

Ben is a man who takes a joyful 
view of life, but, at the same time, he 
is serious enough not to become in- 
different when things come to the 
worst. A cheerful mood reigned in 
his camp, and his tent was the source 



BEN 



D. J. E. M. J. 

NEL ERASMUS PRINSLOO VILJOEN 



CAPTAIN 
RICCHIABDI 



* WAX 




GROUP OF BOER COMMANDANTS ON ^THE KLIP RIVER, NEAR JOHANNESBURG. 

This picture'was taken just before the great battle on 28 May 1900, when all the forces united 

under Lord Roberts were needed to capture the positions held by 2,000 Boers. Lord Roberts 

succeeded, but only after he had encountered the most determined resistance. His losses 

were very heavy. Johannesburg was occupied by him on the 31st of May. 



engagement at Pietershill (27 February 
1900), marched to Van Tonder's Nek, 
repelled an attack of the Natal Volun- 
teers, and occupied Laing's Nek in the 
general retreat. 

On the 28 th of May 1900, he 
played a prominent part in the fight 
at Klip River, near Johannesburg, and 
persuaded the Boers to make their 
unexpected stand against the mighty 
British army. After the battle he 
rode into Johannesburg at night, re- 



which fed the general sociability and 
good-fellowship. 

The English soldiers had a sort of 
fearful admiration for Ben Viljoen. 
They had read such horrors about him 
in the Jingo papers that they imagined 
the most terrible things. In the British 
camp at Ladysmith, he appears to have 
been regarded as one who combined 
every attribute of savagery in his own 
person. Ben was heartily amused at 
the tales concerning himself which 



GENERAL BEN VILIOKN. 



153 



reached him from time to time, but he 
did nothing to keep up his reputation, 
was never rough towards the prisoners 
and, on the contrary, treated them as 
well as he could. 

Whenever British prisoners were 
brought into camp, their first question 
was: 

"Is Joubert here and where is that 
man Viljoen ?" 

And then, when they saw "that 
man Viljoen," they refused to believe 
it was he. They had imagined someone 
very different: a rough, uncivilized man, 
who murdered every Briton that fell 
into his hands. 

One day a telegraphist and a corre- 
spondent,who had escaped fromLadysmith, 
were brought into his camp. They had 
wandered about for nights together 
without seeing a chance of getting 
through the Republican lines. They 
did not dare surrender: they feared lest 
they should be shot on the spot by 
"the barbarous Boers." At last they 
fell into the enemy's hands. Viljoen 
was informed of their capture. He 



refused to have them brought before 
him: the poor beggars must be tired; 
and, producing two bottles of beer and 
a couple of tins of meat, he said: 

"Here, give them that, and let 
them have a good night's rest." 

It was his own . ration that he had 
sent them. 

An English prisoner once said to 
Ben: 

"General, they used to call you a 
devil in our camp." 

"Well," answered Ben, "that repu- 
tation will do me no harm: you fellows 
will run away quicker from a devil 
than an angel." 

Tommy laughed and thought the 
Boer general right, although the latter, 
with his pleasant, smiling face, looked 
anything but diabolical. It was a 
characteristic answer of Viljoen, the 
smart journalist , numbers of whose 
pithy Africander maxims are in circulation. 
The words which he uttered shortly 
before the outbreak of the war, "God 
and the Mauser," became the battle- 
cry of the Boers. 









•t.T • - 







BEN VILJOEN'S HEAD-QUABTEES. Under shelter of these protecting hills, round 

about Ladysmith, the Boers pitched their camp. The guns, striking terror into the hearts of 

the besieged, were placed at different points surrounding the town ; and the burghers made 

every preparation for a sortie on the part of the garrison. 




THE LATE CAPTAIN DANIE THERON, 

COMMANDER OF THEKON'S SCOUTS. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



THE LATE CAPTAIN DANIE THERON. 



rPHE eyes and ears of General De Wet, 
-■- and the boldest of all the Boer 
combatants: that's what Danie Theron 
was. 

He was short and slender, youthful, 
almost boyish, in appearance, a little 
awkward in his movements, but proud 
and daring in his manner. He was a 
crack horseman, a magnificent swimmer, 
an excellent cyclist, an untiring runner, 
the toughest and most persevering of 
men. Among his comrades he was the 
jovial talker who loved a good joke 
and loved a good song. On active 
service and in the field, he was the 
leader who was able to make his fol- 
lowers do anything by his example and 
a single word of encouragement. In 
peace, he was an attorney, at Krugers- 
dorp; and, in the late war, was promoted 
to captain of a corps of scouts. 

Theron's Scouts were the torment 
of the British's army. They knew its 
numbers and its movements with aston- 
ishing accuracy. They swarmed round 



the men in khaki like flies, with this 
difference , that , whereas the latter 
decrease in numbers in winter, the saucy 
scouts became ever more numerous. At 
night, they rode beside the British 
patrols, and, by day, hovered about the 
enemy's camps in endless disguises. They 
talked English or Africander, Scotch, 
Irish or Welsh, as the occasion demanded. 
They were Boers bringing their produce 
to market, or British soldiers loitering 
amid their comrades in arms. They 
ventured close up to every position, and 
dared attack every force when necessary. 
They sold their lives dearly, but preferred 
to ] (reserve them, if the speed of their 
horses and the sureness of their aim 
could save them. They were tricky and 
venturesome, and enjoyed rare good luck. 
To lure an English patrol into an 
ambush was their delight; cleverly to 
protect themselves against a snare was 
their second nature. They were the best 
where all were good, ever the first in 
danger, ever the last to retire. Their 



156 



I THROES OH THE BOER WAR. 




BOER CYCLIST. The Cyclist Corps consisted of young 
men of the better classes. Their superior education had not 
made tliem weaklings. They were in perfect training. Not 
only were they able to keep their seat all day long, but they 
were ready to carry their bicycles on their backs wherever the 
roads were impassable. Rivers did not trouble them : lifting 
their bicycles with strong arms well out of the water, they 
would swim across the widest streams. Wind, rain, heat, nothing 
came amiss to them. At the word of command, taking no 
heed of the British fire, they were ready to dash through the 
British lines and back again. 



special duty was the covering of a 
retreat; and they alone were at all 
times ready to attack. They combined 
in themselves all the innate fighting 
qualities of the Boer, without his over- 
cautiousness. There was no room for 
cowards or blockheads in Theron's Scouts. 
Danie wanted men on whom he could 
rely, and it was considered an honour 
to belong to his band. 

The British officers were in despair: 
all attempts to outwit Danie failed! 
His scouts were hardly ever to be 
captured, and to keep anything concealed 
from them was quite as impossible. The 



enemy knew Danie well and was too 
well aware of the powerful and in- 
dispensable help which he proved to 
the slim De Wet. After the incident 
of Honingspruit, on the 6th of June 
1900, I heard English officers 
exclaim: 

"If only we could lay hands 
on Theron!" 

Surely this was the most flattering 
compliment that Danie could hope 
to be paid. 

When the war began to seem 
inevitable, towards the end of 
September 1899, Danie Theron 
called, in the newspapers, for a 
cyclist corps, which would serve to 
carry reports and dispatches and 
perform scouting work. At first, 
he derived little satisfaction from 
his call. The Boers thought that 
the intention was to escape from 
danger! But, so soon as the cyclist 
service was organized and the 
burghers saw that no rivers or 
heavy roads, no hostile patrols, 
no bullets of the enemy could stop 
the dispatch-riders, they began to 
respect the corps. 

At Ladysmith and on the 
Tugela, Theron soon mado a name 
for himself. General Joubert used 
to call for Danie all day long. 
From early morn till late at 
night, Theron was in the saddle. 
His poor horse led a terribly fatiguing 
life with him, who was tougher than 
any Boer pony. Many is the animal 
that dropped dead under him on his mar- 
vellous rides: one day there were three of 
them, but that was Danie's record. And, 
very late at night, when it was time to 
sleep, he would come back to laager 
and, with his cheeky, drawling voice, say: 
"Boys, I've got one more dispatch 
to take, right across the enemy's fire. 
Two boys must go with me." 

The "boys" would pretend to sleep: 
they thought they had done enough 
for one day. 



158 



HEROES OF THE BOEB WAE. 



"All right, I'll go alone,' growled 
Danie to himself, not in the least upset, 
only a trifle indifferent. 

But this his lads would think a bit 
too bad, and three or four of them 
would jump up together, crying: 

"I'll go with ye, Danie!" 

That pleased him. He was content 
with ever so 
little compli- 
ance. He in- 
variably kept 
the most risky 
and arduous 
enterprises for 
himself; that 
was as it should 
be, he thought: 
a command- 
ant must do 
his own hardest 
work. 

And to the 
men under him 
he behaved as 
none other did. 
On a certain 
day, one of 
them com- 

plained that his 
riding-breeches 
were worn out 
and that the 
commissariat 
would have no 
new clothes 
for a couple 
of days. Danie 
gave a glance 
at his own 
legs, resplen- 
dent in a brand- 
new pair, which he had bought for 
himself at Krugersdorp the day before 
he went on commando. Then he went 
off to his tent, pulled an old pair of 
breeches out of his chest, which he had 
really thrown aside as too bad for further 
wear, put them on, and gave his dispatch- 
rider the new pair, which Danie had 




TUNNEL NEAR LAING'S NEK WRECKED BY THE 
BOERS. South view. 



worn for the first time that day. 
This incident is typical of Danie's 
character. He was as good-natured as 
he was undaunted. Repeatedly he would 
gallop back to a just abandoned position 
to fetch away a wounded comrade. 
Shells might shriek and burst round 
him: Danie remained calm and imper- 

turbable,speak- 
ing words of 
consolation to 
the wounded 
man. 

No wonder 
that his men 
idolized him, 
were always 
ready to follow 
him, and would 
willingly have 
given their 
lives for him. 
Yet he conti- 
nued the same 
cool and im- 
mutable Danie, 
who said so 
little when the 
time for action 
came. He was 
always simple 
and unaffected, 
however much 
his superiors 
praised him, 
and seemed 
utterly blind 
to his own 
merits. That 
is why it was 
that he first 
became known 
among all the commandoes when he 
had performed his famous ride with 
secret dispatches to Cronjes invested 
laager at Paardenberg (18-27 February 
1900). 

Meanwhile, the British spying service, 
combined with frequent treachery, had 
taught General De Wet the value of 



THE LATE CAPTAIN DANIE TIIHKnV 



159 



accurate information. In the council of 
war held at Poplar Grove on the 1st 
of March 1900, Oom Chrisjan proposed 
to form a scouting-corps which would 
be entrusted exclusively with the 
collection of necessary facts. Danie 
Theron's courage, intrepidity and daring, 
of which he had given so many signs 
during his ride 
toPaardenberg, 
were so recent 
in their mem- 
ory that the 
council unani- 
mously selected 
him as the 
leader of the 
corps, with 

the rank of 
captain. The 
Government ap- 
proved fully of 
the formation 
of the corps, 
which was at 
first to number 
one hundred 
men, each of 
whom was to 
have two horses 
at his disposal. 
The corps 
was complete 
in a very short 
time, and the 
leader assumed 
command of 
his hundred 
followers. The 
work which 
these scouts 
had undertaken 

was, in the highest degree, dangerous, 
and very soon the less mettlesome 
amongst them withdrew and returned 
to their commandoes. Danie tried his 
men one by one. He took a different 
companion with him on each of his 
adventurous expeditions, watched his 
methods carefully, and, so soon as he 




saw that the man was too chicken- 
hearted or too slow-witted, explained to 
him that he could not continue to use him. 
In this way, Theron gathered round him 
a corps of picked men, of whom lie 
had every right to be proud. Not a 
town was occupied by the English, but 
one or more scouts were left behind 

to observe the 
manner in 

which the place 
was garrisoned. 
No less than 
eight of them 
were standing 
in immediate 
proximity to 
Lord Roberts 
when the 

British Field 
Marshal made 
his speech in 
the market- 
square at Pre- 
toria, after his 
entry into the 
Transvaal cap- 
ital on the 
. r )th of June 
1900; nor was 
it until some 
three days later 
that our friends 
left the city 
by ox-waggons, 
along the race- 
course, amply 
supplied with 
valuable in- 
formation. 

And, not- 
w ithstanding 
all this cunning, all this courage and in- 
trepidity displayed by his subordinates, 
Danie continued to remain the craftiest, 
the most gallant, the most undaunted 
and the most enterprising of them all. 
This gave him a natural ascendancy over 
his men; for to order them about and 
"play the baas" was never his way. 



NEAR LAING'S NEK WRECKED BY THI 
BOERS. North View. 



160 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 

















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DANIE THERON'S SCOUTS: AT DINNER. The meals of the scouts were of the 
simplest. Mohility was their first consideration. Their knapsacks contained provisions for 
several days. Attached to the saddle were a mug and a coffee-pot. Dried cow-dung 
served for fuel. As long as they had an ample supply of coffee and tobacco, they were 

contented. 



At Krugersdorp, Theron had been 
known as a jolly companion, always 
ready for a practical joke, friends with 
everybody, on the best of terms with 
Africanders and English alike, but hating 
an unjust man with an inveterate hatred. 
For this reason, he grew to loathe such 
men as Moneypenny, the Editor of the 
Johannesburg Star, who had come to 
South Africa, without knowing the 
country, its circumstances or its inhabit- 
ants, only to support the principles of 
the Rhodes party. A man who, in this way, 
deliberately set himself up at Johannes- 
burg to insult the Africander was bound 
to drive Danie's passions to boiling 
point. Had Moneypenny been an honest 
Englishman, with ideas diametrically 
opposed to Theron's own, assuredly Danie 
would have had no difficulty in con- 
trolling his rage, and the Editor of the 
Johannesburg Star would have escaped 
his thrashing. 

Danie was a furious opponent of 
the Transvaal concessions. Not long 
before the war, he wrote an elaborate 
argument in the Volksstem, in which, 



with his innate vehemence, he raised 
his voice against the decision of the 
First Volksraad in the matter of the 
dynamite monopoly, and, if the war had 
not broken out, he would certainly have 
endeavoured to set a movement on foot 
to obtain the revision of that resolution. 
Not that his efforts would have stood 
any chance of success, for the majority 
in the Volksraad was too large, and 
the decision itself the result of too 
earnest a consideration; but Danie had 
once and for all thrown himself on the 
side opposed to the dynamite monopoly, 
and no fear of being accused of English 
Jingo sympathies would have affected 
him, when once his convictions led him 
to protest. 

Danie Theron was a Cape Colonist 
by birth, wrote and talked Dutch as 
easily as English, was a fluent speaker, 
and too young to be a Conservative. 
But, certainly, to be a Progressive and 
to tamper with the enemies of the 
Africanders were not synonymous in his 
case, although in the South African 
Republic the two things were nearly 



THE LATE CAPTAIN DANIE THERON. 



161 



always named in one breath; often most 
unjustly. 

resolved that General 
remain in the Free 
the British lines of 
Danie Theron was 
appointed to second him, and new 
commanders were chosen for the several 
divisions of the famous scouting-corps. 
How splendidly Danie acquitted himself 
of his task and what brave assistance 
he lent his leader is shown by the 



When it was 
De Wet should 
State to harass 
communication, 



glorious feats-at-arms of the valiant De 
Wet, who could speak with pride of 
Theron's "half Englishmen," as Oom 
Chrisjan used to call the scouting-corps, 
which consisted in the main of young 
men, born in Cape Colony, who had 
become burghers through residence in 
the Republic. Poor Theron was fated 
not to see the end of the war. He 
fell near Krugersdorp (August 1901). 
Captain Celliers succeeded him as 
commander of Theron's Scouts. 




DANIE THERON'S SCOUTS: RESTING. Their repose is a well-earned one, for their 
work has been heavy. They know no fear and sell their lives dearly. But they may take 
their rest with perfect confidence in the vigilance of the sentry : they need fear no surprise 

from the enemy. 




JUDGE J. B. M. HERTZOG, 

THE FREE STATE GENERAL. 



CHAPTER XIX. 



JUDGE J. B. M. HERTZOG. 



A man of sterling character, an honest, 
upright Africander, an indefatigable 
worker, a man of great capacity, of 
rare swiftness in action and, to the last, 
of unimpaired faith in the triumph of 
the republican arms. 

General though he were, he was long 
addressed only by the title of Judge; 
no one thought of calling him anything 
else. For that matter, he looked more 
like a scholar than a soldier, with his 
dark eyes beaming and glittering behind 
his gold-rimmed spectacles. 

Those who knew him in Holland, 
where he completed his legal training 
in 1892, tell me that he used to be 
of a calm and placid temperament. I, 
who have known him on commando, 
cannot readily picture him in that 
light. He must have changed greatly 
in these ten years. In Holland, too, 
they pretend that he was tall and 
massive. But, among the giants in 
South Africa, he is classed as a man 
of middle height. He is straight of 



shoulder, a little angular, but lithe and 
quick of movement. His dark com- 
plexion, with the black beard and 
moustache, point to a vehement tem- 
perament. There is grit in his character. 
The dark eyes flicker up suddenly 
behind his glasses, and then it is time 
to make one's self scarce, for he permits 
nothing to frighten him: no display of 
strength , no broad , burly figure , no 
bold attitude. The biggest burgher, 
who stands a foot higher than he, was 
terrified, once "the judge" started, and 
many a Free Stater who had neglected 
his duty felt the nervous muscular 
force of this slender man. 

"But he is therefore a banja fine 
fellow," one and all agreed. 

He deserved this estimate, for there 
are few who did as much as he in 
this war. When it was necessary, he 
fought. When there was no fighting to 
be done, he was here, there and every- 
where to settle the commissariat ar- 
rangements. When he had finished this 



i <; 4 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



task, he would take part in a council 
of war, and his colleagues not only 
listened to him as a jurist: his opinions 
on strategy were of equal value; for, 
like so many Africanders, he is a born 
strategist. His judgment always gave 
proofs of his clear insight into every 
matter, while the gigantic quantity of 
work which he performed bore witness 
to his extraordinary and untiring dil- 
igence. 

Despite his knowledge and training, 
he was always prepared to listen to 
the views of others, even if those were 
far from possessing his superior gifts. 
He strove to improve his knowledge in 
every direction , whether from one of 
the Boer commandants, or the military 
attaches, or the foreign officers fighting 
on the side of the Boers. 

All agree with one voice as to his 
personal charm, his extensive learning 
and his lofty principles, which latter he 
so rigidly observes. 

Judge Hertzog was ubiquitous. With 
wonderful rapidity, he crossed the whole 
country on his splendid horses: when 
one steed needed rest, another was used. 
No harnessing or saddling was ever 

o o 

done fast enough to please him. His 
Kaffir, who had acquired an uncommon 
dexterity in this employment , was 
always being urged to display still 
greater speed, while the baas himself 
lent a hand. Then boy and baas leapt 
into cart or saddle with an agility 
upon which no acrobat could have 
improved, and dashed on ahead at a 
rate at which an} 7 other would have 
stood aghast. 

There was no great chance , there- 
fore , of Hertzog's falling into the 
British hands. He was the man of 
men for guerilla tactics , in which 
swiftness of mobilization plays so great 
a part, and he knew how to communi- 
cate this love of rapid movement to 
his burghers without their perceiving 
it themselves. 

President Steijn consulted Hertzog 



on all matters of importance when 
Mr. A. Fischer had left for Europe. 
The Free State jurist was constantly 
galloping or steaming to and fro be- 
tween his commando and the seat of 
government, and, wherever he might 
be, he was the heart and soul of every- 
thing: 

"Is Judge Hertzog here?" would be 
heard from morn till night. 

His advice was asked on every subject, 
from the weightiest questions of State 
to the most trivial family matters of 
the burghers. A Boer would come 
and complain to him with as great an 
air of importance of the injustice of 
the commissary in refusing to renew 
his pass as would a general of the 
neglect of one of his subordinate 
commandants. Judge Hertzog was sure 
to know of a solution of the difficulty, 
or, at least, it would be strange indeed 
if the judge were unable find one. True, 
he would sometimes fly into a terrible 
temper if a burgher came troubling 
him about some trifle; but his temper 
would go the instant the man had fled. 
He declared that he had no time to 
get angry. But it was no use coming 
to him with excuses to obtain leave 
from commando, and the burghers very 
soon learnt to drop all such questions. 
Any poor beggar , however , who was 
really in want of something was wel- 
come and certain of assistance; if the 
aid could not be granted officially, 
Judge Hertzog was never short of a 
couple of pounds to give it himself. 

It is astounding to think where he 
obtained his knowledge of bread and 
local laws , of shoes and military 
positions. And none could settle a 
question so quickly as he. He is an 
uncommon mortal, who became furi- 
ously angry with sluggards or men 
who wished, worked, held principles, 
did everything by halves. 

He w r as as valiant as the bravest, but, 
when he thought it better for the cause 
of the country that he should not fight, 



JUDGE J. B M. BERTZOG. 



L6i 



he feared no reproach of cowardice in 
order to do other work of a more useful 
character. At Magersfontein , on the 
lltli of December 1899, throughout the 
great battle, lie rode about behind the 
positions , driving back the faint of 
heart who were abandoning their posts. 
He had learnt at Belmont, Rooilaagte 
(Graspan), and Two Rivers (Modder 
River) how infectious flight is, and was 
determined to ensure as far as possible 
that every burgher should do his duty. 
The Battle of Magersfontein was won, 
and the judge contributed more towards 
the victory than if he had lain all day 
in the trenches, Mauser in hand. The 
cowards, of course, urged that it was 
easy for him to drive them back while 
lie himself kept out of danger: he took 
no notice of their remarks and continued 
to act as he thought necessary. 

Judge Hertzog accompanied the 
expedition to Kenhardt, Prieska and 
Upington. in November 1899, at the 
express request of President Steijn, and 
was made judge of the districts occupied; 
but they had hardly started before he 
returned , as the British troops were 
threatening Magersfontein for the 
second time. Together with General 
W. Kolbe, in whose laager he found 
himself, he was strongly opposed to 
allowing a portion of the cavalry, 
which had broken through at Ron- 
dafelsdrift, to enter Kimberley undis- 
turbed. His example stimulated the 
burghers to new and energetic efforts; 
Kolbe's laager was hastily reinforced; 
the British mounted troops were 
beaten back; and General Du Toit 
was enabled to bring his Long Tom, 
which was erected near the Water 
Works, into a position of safety. 

Judge Hertzog is one of the few 
persons in South Africa who have taken 
degrees both in England and Holland. 



He himself is an Africander and one of 
the best type: a noble charact'T, who was 
as firmly determined as the President to 
fight to the bitter end. He belong ;■• 
the Fauresmith District, and his wife, 
who remained behind at Bloemfontein, 
full of pride that her husband was still 
under arms , was taken , together with 
her eight-year-old son, to Port Elizabeth 
and immured in the women's camp. 
where the child died of the privations 
which he endured. 

I respect this judge, whose training 
did not unfit him for the hard life 
of the battle-field. I respect this man. 
who cheerfully left wife and child, 
hearth and home, to lead, in the service 
of his country and his people . an 
existence of privations unknown to him, 
of wretchedness never imagined. 

And how unbroken his spirit re- 
mained is proved by his admirable 
inroad into Cape Colony in December 
1900, at the head of his commando, 
and his operations there. As I have 
already said, this nervous, pithy, dark- 
complexioned lawyer is a man of 
sterling character. 




TBANSVAAL MAXIM GUN. 



13 




J. C. SMUTS, 

FORMERLY ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND ASSISTANT COMMANDANT (JENERAL OF 
THE SOOTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC. 



CHAPTER XX. 



J. C. SMUTS. 



IT was after Dr. Leijds retired as State 
Secretary and departed for Europe 
as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister 
Plenipotentiary of the South African 
Republic. The Volksraad and Govern- 
ment were at their wits' end. A new 
State Secretary had to be appointed by 
the First Volksraad; but those best 
fitted for this position refused. Abra- 
ham Fischer, of Bloemfontein, was the 
favourite. The Transvaal people did their 
utmost to induce Fischer to accept the 
candidature, and he would certainly have 
been elected: 

"If he had any conditions, they could 
be granted; and, if any objections, they 
could be removed." 

The Free State people looked upon all 
this with regret and persuaded Fischer 
to remain. And he remained where 
he was, for the Free State and his 
position there were, in fact, too dear 
to him that he should care to charge 
himself with the ungrateful and dif'fi- 
cult office of State Secretary of the 
South African Republic. When Fischer 



refused, the Transvaal Government really 
not did know whom to approach. Should 
they ask Dr. H. J. Coster, who had been 
State Attorney in '96? They went to 
see him. He would not think of it. Some 
suggested Danie Wolmarans, and the 
Opposition immediately agreed to this 
suggestion; for then, at least, Danie. 
with his prodigious 
disappear from the 
Danie was no lawyer 
essential qualification, 
minds then turned to 
"Who is Jan Smuts? 



influence . would 
Volksraad. But 
and this was an 
A few clever 
Jan Smuts, 
most men asked. 



Well, Jan Smuts was a young 
lawyer from Cape Colony, who was 
writing brilliant articles in Ons 
Land on the crisis in the Supreme Court 
in the South African Republic, when 
Chief Justice Kotze had been relieved 
from his duties. Jan Smuts was a true 
young Africander, extraordinarily clever, 
who had finished his legal training 
in England brilliantly. He had set 
up as a lawyer in Johannesburg, but, 
in spite of his cleverness, the Eland 

13* 



168 



HEROES OF THE BOEE W'AIt. 



capitalists disliked him: he was too 
much of a patriot for their taste. As 
for his candidature for the position of 
State Secretary, his friends did what 
they could; but his youth was an 
insuperable objection. He was only 
twenty-eight years old , and the con- 
stitution of the South African Republic 
required a State Secretary to be thirty 
at least. Eventually, the Transvaal had 
the good fortune to secure Judge Reitz, 
the former President of the Sister Re- 
public of the Orange Free State, to fill 
that position; and Smuts became State 
Attorney. 

Even the most importunate were 
now reconciled. A Transvaaler, Pre- 
sident Kruger; a Free Stater, State 
Secretary Reitz; and a Cape Colonist, 
State Attorney Smuts: these were now 
the leaders of the Government. It is 
true that the State Attorney was not 
an immediate member of Government; 
but, as he was also an adviser in matters 
of State, his influence upon the Govern- 
ment was very considerable. Both the 
Cape Colonists and the people of the 
Free State were much pleased with the 
choice: a fact requiring no argument. 

Smuts performed his work with all 
the activity appertaining to his youth. 
The careers of the different State At- 
torneys of the South African Republic 
have been rich in interesting experiences; 
but that of the last State Attorney has 
excelled all others in this respect. He 
accompanied President Kruger on bis 
journey to Bloemfontein, in June 1899, 
and took part in the conferences with 
Sir Alfred Milner. It was he who had 
the well-known conference with Mr. 
Conyngham Greene, the British Agent 
at Pretoria, from which Smuts, on his 
side, understood that the British Govern- 
ment would be satisfied if the Outlanders 
were granted full burgher rights after 
five years' residence: an assurance that 
raised expectations in official circles in 
the Transvaal which were never realized. 

Smuts drew up the famous memoran- 



dum in which he sketched, in the form 
of a report to his Government, the points 
of the conversation between himself and 
the British Agent and the course which 
it had assumed. He advised immediate 
publication so soon as the evasive 
answer of the British Government reached 
Pretoria, on the 28th of August 1898. 
The President however, who had grown 
old in diplomacy, warned the young 
functionary to remain calm and drew 
his attention to the fact that the proposed 
publication might possibly induce the 
British Government to break off all 
negociations. 

Smuts was convinced by this 
solid argument and postponed the 
publication of his memorandums. How- 
ever, his youthful blood boiled with 
indignation and he needed all his self- 
control to refrain from speaking his 
mind on what had happened. The love 
for his country, which might be imperilled 
by any rash action on his part, over- 
came his indignation, and Smuts remained 
silent until his turn to speak came. 
In the meantime, he set himself to work 
on the Century of Wrong, the plan of 
which had been drafted by the State 
Secretary, who also gave instructions as 
to the tendency of the book. He worked 
with indefatigable activity and devoted 
his few hours of leisure to the compil- 
ation of this pamphlet. 

The last English Blue-book that 
appeared before the war suddenly put 
an end to the confidence which Smuts 
had hitherto entertained in the British 
Agent. The young State Attorney was 
at least able to read, in this Blue-book, 
that even Mr. Conyngham Greene was 
not always to be relied upon to give a 
faithful rendering of a conversation, and, 
from that moment, he firmly refused to 
be present at any of the many visits 
which the British Representative paid 
to Government Buildings at Pretoria. 

State Attorney Smuts has undoubt- 
edly done very much for the South 
African Republic, and always with the 




VIEWS OF CAl'K TOWN. 



L70 



HEEOES OF THE HOKR WAR. 



greatest devotion, strength of mind, in- 
spiration and gladness. But it cannot 
therefore be said that all that he did 
was well done: he was too much lacking 
in experience to be, as vet, a diplomatist. 
He still placed too much confidence in 
people; he had too eager a belief in 
everybody's word. All the good and 
bad qualities of youth were united in 
him: impetuous efficiency, an indefati- 
gable delight in his work, a too hasty 
trust in success, and the noblest optimism. 
But opposed to these stood his want 
of practical experience. His official 
negociations with the British Agent 
were certainly based upon the best 
intentions, but whether they were exactly 
formal is another question. 

His lack of official severity, which latter 
is the characteristic of riper statesmen, 
appears in a Century of Wrong, both 
in his chapter on the Cape of Good 
Hope and in his vigorous assertion that 
Dingaan was instigated by the English, 
in 1838, to murder Piet Retief and his 
men: an assertion which is contradicted 
by historians of standing, such as Theal 
and Van Oordt, and which must natur- 
ally diminish the value of Smuts' argu- 
ments throughout the book in the eyes 
of those who are enemies of his country. 
But patriotism and indignation seethed 
within him. What he lacked, as yet, 
was quiet earnestness. He had not yet 
learnt how to retain his equanimity in 
all circumstances nor how to work on 
quietly when wrath filled his heart. 

As State Attorney, it was also his 
business to draft projects of laws and 
to defend and explain those projects in 
the Yolksraad. One of these laws, the 
so-called Law against Prostitution, bears 
witness to his lack of practice. By 
this law, the accused had to prove his 
innocence, while the prosecution was 
called upon to bring forward hardly 
any proof of the offence. Even land- 
lords were held responsible for the acts 
of their tenants. Smuts drafted this 
law: the doubtful honour belongs for the 



most part to him. It cannot, however, 
be denied that the evil had assumed 
such proportions at Johannesburg that 
a rigorous intervention had become a 
mutter of urgent necessity. And the 
State Attorney of the South African 
Republic was certainly not the first 
man to fail in finding the means by 
which this social evil was to be fought. 

But. apart from all this, Smuts 
showed himself, in his official career, to 
to be a young Africander of promising 
talents. His intentions and endeavours 
were all of the most sacred character, 
the purest and the most sincerely Afric- 
ander; and his unstained loyalty to his 
country, his immaculate and enthusiastic 
patriotism were the inward forces that 
prompted him to great deeds. And, 
had his career moved over a smoother 
path , Smuts would have become an 
important figure in the midst of the 
young Africander nation. His character, 
his knowledge, his clear brain, his un- 
shaken will pointed to this with irref- 
utable evidence. The office of State 
Secretary of the South African Republic- 
was waiting for him when once the 
ripeness of years to come had brought 
him experience. But the smoother path 
towards that height remained closed to 
Smuts. He had to participate in the 
bitter sufferings and the tenacious 
struggle of his compatriots. And, in 
these sufferings, in this struggle, dan 
Smuts showed himself great. Amid 
all privations, all hard trials, it was he 
again who excelled as the man predes- 
tined to become one of the leaders of 
his country. With enthusiasm he took 
up his Mauser, to defend the good right 
of the Africanders, which he so often 
pleaded with the pen, and, if fate required, 
to seal it with his blood. His pa- 
triotism it was that made him one of 
the bravest and ablest generals of the 
Transvaal, the great support of De la 
Rev. 

And, as a general, Smuts certainly 
retained that conscientiousness and 



J. C. SMUTS. 



171 



joviality which marie him such a sym- 
pathetic figure in time of peace. The 
lean and slender stature denotes his 
force and his tenacity; the clear eyes 
and the decisive knit of the brows are 
tokens of his energy and power of 
will. In appearance, he seems to be 
younger than he really is, with his 
clean-shaven face, his fair complexion, 
the adolescence made even more striking 
by his leanness. 

But, even though Smuts the lawyer 
was, for a time, dissolved in Smuts the 
soldier, his incisive pen was not doomed 
to inefficiency. His reports to Presidents 
Steijn and Kruger concerning the misery 
endured and the results inflicted by this 
painful war proved in a marked manner 
that that pen could still move the whole 
world to rage against the execrable 
actions committed during the war. Jan 
Smuts taught us that a new Century 
of Wrong had commenced for the 
Africanders; but, from behind the heavy 
wall of the British army, he shouted 
to us, with austere emphasis: 

•'We will endeavour to realize a 
peace for the whole of South Africa 
which will be worthy of the precious 
sacrifices that have been made". 

Truly, those were the words of a 
young patriot, of a young hero of Young- 
Africa. Such language, in such desperate 
circumstances, marked the resolution 
of his character and marked the man 
he was. 

To this young idealist, to him who 
knew so well the sufferings of the 
Africanders since the earliest days, it 
must have been a bitter disillusionment 
to draw up the protocol of peace, which 
was signed on the 31st of May 1902. 
Persuasive power and seizing arguments 
must have been necessary to convince 
him of the uselessness of further re- 
sistance. Jan Smuts was not the man 
to hesitate as long; as there were still 
some thousands of men on the veldt: 
Jan Smuts who, in August 1901, passed 
with 200 Boers from the Potchefstroom 



District in the Transvaal across the 
block-house lines of the British military 
posts, who pushed forward to the centre 
of Cape Colony and there maintained 
himself. There were other reasons thai 
convinced Jan Smuts, and these are to 
be found in the resolution in which 
the representatives of the commandoes 
at Vereeniging explain why they were 
compelled to put an end to the war. 
Jan Smuts, however, is too energetic, 
too diligent and assiduous a man to 
remain inactive. His destiny, his 
influence amongst the Africanders, his 
thorough knowledge of persons and 
affairs have increased: Jan Smuts has 
been through a hard school, through 
which the ancestors of the Africanders 
passed before him. 1 have no doubt but 
that he will make the best use of his 
knowledge for the sake of his people 
and his country. 




COMMANDANT FOl'CHK OF THE COLONY. 




GENERAL S. G. MAR1TZ. 



CHAPTER XXI. 



THE THREE BEST-KNOWN COMMANDERS IN THE COLONY 



GENERAL S. G. MAEITZ. 

A ssistant Commandant General Smuts's 
-£** late deputy-general is a young man, 
short of build, but powerful as a bull. 
His physical strength is something out 
of the common. He is said, during 
the war, to have felled an enemy with 
a single blow of his fist, so that the 
man died the following day. 

Maritz is young to have been a 
general: he is barely twenty-five; but 
he does not lack seriousness. His com- 
rades say that he seldom laughs, that 
he is a taciturn man, but braver then 
the bravest. Maritz was born in Cape 
Colony, but had lived for many years 
in the Transvaal, where he was a dis- 
tributor of passes to the natives and 
where he became a fully enfranchised 
burgher at the time of the Jameson 
Raid. Like all young Boer officers, 



Maritz began his career as a common 
soldier. He at once distinguished 
himself by his daring: 

"Maritz says little, but does much,"' 
his officers used to declare. 

In February 1901, he entered Cape 
Colony under DeWet; but, with many 
other little bands, was cut off from the 
main body and remained in the Colony 
under Commandant Malan, who, in April 
1901, in accordance with instructions from 
the Free State, sent him to the north- 
western districts. He started from Graaf 
Reinet and travelled right across the 
Colony with eight men, galloping, 
crawling, creeping, feeling his way 
through the British lines, but always 
o-ettinff through. He shrank from no 
obstacle and, at last, reached IVieska, 
where, for the first time, he was able 
to display his unequalled intrepidity. 
The eight men who had performed the 
whole journey with him formed the 
nucleus of his commando. There w;i> 
nothins that he dared not undertake 



17 1 



HEROES (>F TJIK liOKK WAR. 



with them. They would never leave 
him in the lurch and they knew that 
Maritz never hesitated to attack. At 
Blauwijzer, on his way to the North- 
West, he had ventured to engage 60 
English horsemen; at Brandvlei, with 
ten men, he had fought a strong British 
patrol: and be had nearly always left 
the Held a winner. His little commando 
constantly increased in size. He had 
no arms; but he obtained them from 
his English prisoners. The eight men 
grew into twenty and eventually into 
a hundred. They were all young fellows, 
who knew no fear. They included the 
five Free Staters who had escaped from 
Ceylon and returned to the commando 
over St. Petersburg and Amsterdam; 
they included Andries De Wet, who 
disliked the applause which he received 
in Germany when lecturing for the 
Boer cause and who eventually returned 
to Cape Colony to take up his rifle 
again for his people. Among Maritz' 
men was de Kersanson , the French 
nobleman, a nephew of Count de Ville- 
bois-Mareuil. 

These were the men whom the silent, 
brave Maritz had under him; and, with 
75 of such men, he dared to pass through 
the whole of the North -West of Cape 
Colony to Cape Town and join the 
other commandoes in the neigbourhood. 
It was he who captured the remount 
depot at Bergstad, at ten hours' ride 
from Table Bay. It was he who pene- 
trated with his commando to within 
five hours of Cape Town and, on the 
1st of October 1901, captured the 
Cyclists' Corps. Nothing came, in the 
end, of the attack on Cape Town; but 
Maritz returned to the North- West of 
the Colony with an exceptionally rich 
booty in horses, cattle and mules. 

He was now a general: Assistant 
Commandant General Smuts had pro- 
moted him. His first act in his new 
capacity was to lay siege to Ookiep, in 
April 1902. The news of the conclusion 
of peace came soon after. Maritz' men 



were jubilant. They were certain that 
this peace meant the preservation of 
the independence of the two Republics. 
It fell to General Smuts to dispel this 
happy dream , and many of the un- 
daunted fellows wept: Maritz among 
them. He and some of his faithful 
followers refused to lay down their 
arms: had they not nearly always been 
the victors? And so they crossed the 
frontier of German South- West Africa 
and came to Europe. 

What will their future be? They 
do not know; they do not ask: time 
will show. But it was too much to 
ask of Maritz that he should own him- 
self beaten: of Maritz, who was thrice 
wounded in the war; of Maritz, the 
doughty knight without fear and with- 
out reproach. 



II. 



THE LATE COMMANDANT 
G. J. SCHEEPERS. 

I met poor Scheepers at Bloem- 
fontein in December 1899. It was a 
scorching clay. The heat shimmered over 
the sand in the broad market-place, which 
lay completely deserted. I was sitting 
out on the verandah of the Free State 
Hotel, drowsily dozing with heat and 
boredom. Then, suddenly, a young man 
came stepping across the square, soli- 
tary in the wide spaciousness of the 
market-place. He came up to the hotel 
and went past me with a short military 
salute. A moment later, we were sitting 
talking on the verandah. The young 
man was Scheepers. He was a tele- 
graphist in the Free State Artillery. 

I asked him if he did not find life 
on commando difficult. 

"Difficult? That life is not difficult. 
I expect we shall get it banja more 
difficult one of these days.'' 



176 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



Then 1 saw that Scheepers did not 
belong to the optimists who were con- 
vinced that the days of Magersfontein, 

Colons!) and Storm berg would last: 

-Our people are too fond of going 
home." 

Scheepers grew excited. His large 
dark eyes flashed fire and he uttered 
words which one would not have ex- 
pected from this young - fellow, with 
the laughter -loving eyes and mouth, 
who gave so great an impression of 
the love and strength of life. And, 
suddenly, our 
talk was inter- 
rupted by the 
arrival of 

another young 
man. 

Scheepers 
sprang up and 
went to meet 
him. He be- 
came a differ- 
ent person. 
They both 
laughed until 
the market- 
place and the 
houses rang 
again with 

their merriment; and the clear, gay, 
lusty voices sounded long in my ears. 

Scheepers was right to pronounce 
a bitter judgment on the leave-takers. 
He himself remained in the field when 
adversity came and "life became banja 
difficult." As De Wet's adjutant, he 
passed through Oom Chrisjan's famous 
military school, and with success; for 
he learnt, with cunning adroitness, al- 
ways to escape the threatened surrounding 
movements and to obtain advantages 
against the enemy. 

In December 1900, he invaded the 
• !i dony at the same time as Kretzinger and 
Judge Hertzoy;. He soon received his own 
commando. It numbered only 40 men; 
but he was able, on the 31st of Au- 
gust 1901, to report to De Wet that 




THE LATE COMMANDANT G. J. SCHEEPERS. 



he now had 240 men under his orders. 
They never suffered want. All the 
corn which the English had command- 
eered and accummulated at Graaf Reinet, 
Aberdeen and Willowmore was captured 
by Scheepers in May 1901; and this 
supply fed him and his men through 
the whole of the winter of that year. 
His report to De Wet, of the 31st 
of August 1901, fell into the hands 
of the English. In this report he set 
forth his plan of campaign for the 
coming summer. He intended to go 

west, in the 
direction of 
Oudshoorn and 
Cape Town. 
The enemy was, 
therefore, duly 
warned, but 
was unable to 
spoil his plans. 
No commando 
penetrated so 
far into Cape 
Colony as his. 
And his 
commando was 
a picked corps. 
He maintained 
iron discipline. 
There were so many who were eager 
to join him that he was able to reject 
all but the most active and resolute. 
His men were always well-dressed and 
well-fed and behaved in exemplary 
fashion as each new village was occu- 
pied. Eventually even the Capt Times 
was compelled to admit that the 750 
men who , in the end, fought under 
Scheepers consisted in the main of well- 
to-do Cape Colonists, owners of landed 
property. 

Scheepers fell ill on commando and, 
at last, on the 10th of October 1901. 
was captured by the enemy at a farm- 
house near Kopjeskraal, where he had 
been left behind. Ill as he was, he 
had led his commando till the last. 
When the pursuing column was so close 



THE THREE BEST-KNOWN COMMANDERS IN THE COLONY 



177 



upon his heels that there was a danger 
of his falling into the enemy's hands, 
he sprang with his sick body from his 
cart and escaped on horseback. 

Scheepers' trial lasted long: it had 
to be constantly adjourned because he 
was too ill to attend. He defended 
himself personally against all the accu- 
sations brought against him. English 
soldiers gave evidence of his humane 
treatment. But Scheepers , the poor 
sick Scheepers, was shot on the 18th of 
Januari 1902. He died as he had fought, 
a hero 



III. 



GENERAL G. H. KRETZINGER. 

Kretzinger also entered Cape Colony 
on the 16th of December 1900, with 
150 men. His commando was soon the 
leading one and 
he was promo- 
ted to Assist- 
ant Chief Com- 
mandant in 
the Colon} 7 . 
Swiftly, one 
after the other, 
he inflicted a 
number of 

serious reverses 
on the English. 
Lord Kitchener 
dispatched his 
best generals 
against the 
twenty - eight - 
year- old Afric- 
ander. Now 
Kretzinger be- 
gan to be 
"cornered," and 
''cut off," and 
on. 




GENERAL G. H. KBETZINGEB. 



"hard pressed," and 
'surrounded," and so 
But he always escaped; nor did 
he permit these military performances 
to interfere with the pleasures of daily 
life. All the English soldiers could 



not prevent him from playing foot-ball 
or riding with the Colonial young 
ladies. 

At last, on the 15th of August 
1901 , General French drove him 
back across the Orange River and 
occupied all the drifts; but Kretzinger 
made his way into the Colony again 
in December 1901. He crossed the 
railway at De Aar and, on the 16th of 
December 1901, when endeavouring to 
save a wounded comrade at Hanover 
Road, fell heavily wounded into the hands 
of the English. Like Scheepers, he was 
nursed up in order to undergo his trial by 
court-martial; but, more fortunate than 
Scheepers, he was acquitted in April 
1902. 

And yet the accusations against 
Kretzinger were of a more serious cha- 
racter. In August 1901, he wrote to 
General French that he would shoot 
any black who had served in the British 

Army as a 
combatant or 
spy that fell 
into his hands; 
and, on the 
13th of July 
1901, he had 
issued a procla- 
mation in which 
he threatened 
all Kaffirs who 
rendered ser- 
vices to the 
British Army 
with condign 
punishment, a 
threat which 
told heavily, in 
those days. 
against a Boer 
officer: so hea- 
vily that the British Colonial Secretary 
expressed his indignation against it in 
the House of Commons on the 8th of 
August 1901. 

Nevertheless, Kretzinger was acquitt- 
ed; but he had felt the pistol at his breast. 




A TYPICAL BOER GIRL 



CHAPTER XXII. 



SOUTH AFRICAN WIVES AND DAUGHTERS. 



THE influence of the South African 
women in this war has been modest 
and discreet. When the world's press 
spoke of the deeds of the Boers, but 
few words were devoted to the mighty 
share taken by the African women in 
this gigantic struggle of the small Boer 
people against the most powerful nation 
that the world contains. 

The call of some of them to their 
sisters to take over the men's duties 
and perfom police service met with but 
little echo. Not that our women are 
lacking in courage, but they felt that 
their strength lay elsewhere and that, 
when man and wife fulfilled their 
respective duties, there was enough to 
do for both, and each would have as 
great a share as the other in the 
arduous struggle for the independence 
so dear to them. 

Not every woman has shown herself 
a heroine in this war, as little as every 
man has shown himself a hero. There 
are women, alas! who entreated their 



husbands to remain at home, immediately 
after the appearance of Lord Roberts' 
first proclamation of the 31st of May 
1900, in which the Boers were called 
upon to lay down their arms, lest they 
should be treated as rebels and lose 
their homes and chattels. But in sharp 
contrast with these stood the cases in 
which the women urged the men to 
courage and perseverance , when the 
latter were marching away with the 
knowledge that presently the enemy 
would approach their houses, drive away 
all their cattle, and rob their wives and 
children of roof and home! 

I will mention only one of many 
striking instances of this heroism on 
the part of the women. It was on 
the 11th of March 1900. The news 
had penetrated to General Kolbe's farms, 
about six hours' distance from Bloerafon- 
tein, that the English were marching 
on the capital and that our burghers 
had been forced , after a stubborn 
resistancp, to abandon their position:- 




WILLEM KOLBE, 

THE FRKE SPATE G] NERAL. 



SOUTH AFRICAN WIVES AND DAUGHTERS. 



181 



at Driepan. It was a rich homestead; 
the house was elegantly and tastefully 
furnished; the fields were tilled with 
the aid of all the latest inventions 
which this age of progress offers. The 
oxen and horses were sleek and fat, and 
the whole place lay basking in the 
beaming rays of the sun, as though, 
war and the enemy were far away. 
Soon fugitives from the different Boer 
homesteads began to hurry along the 
road, on horseback and in all sorts of 
conveyances. Now and again, one of 
these would allow himself a moment 
to "climb down" and relate to the four 
women all the terrible things that he had 
heard on the way. These four women 
were General Kolbe's mother-in-law, a 
doughty old woman; the gallant Boer's 
wife; his sister-in-law, the wife of Field 
Cornet Pretorius; and the latter's young 
unmarried sister. No pleadings, no tales 
of terror were able to persuade the 
woman to leave the homestead. They 
were determined to remain, come what 
might. 

The stream of fugitives continued. 
Gradually, a few groups of armed 
burghers began to mingle with the long 
array of Cape carts, and, towards evening, 
General Willem Kolbe himself appeared 
before his house. He was a comparative- 
ly old man: his hair and beard were 
lavishly streaked with grey; but the 
clear eye still glowed with youthful, 
fire, and the elasticity with which he 
sprang from his horse was a convincing 
proof of the vigour which, despite his 
years, he retained. 

General Kolbe had been in com- 
mand of the Free Staters who in- 
vested Kimberley. His tent was in the 
Bloemfontein laager, and, from the kop 
behind which this camp lay, many a 
shell was sent which frustrated the sorties 
of the garrison. He was a kind-hearted 
man. His burghers loved their general, 
who was always so friendly with them 
and still kept his power over them. 
There was always something special to 



be found in his tent; it was the El 
Dorado of journalists, who were allowed 
to see important letters or the latest 
English papers, all captured from Kaffirs 
who had tried to smuggle these import- 
ant things into Kimberley in order 
to provide Mr. Rhodes with a little 
distraction. The natives, however, fell 
into the hands of the Boer pickets and 
Mr. Rhodes lost his reading, which was 
a pity for him and for the friends who 
had wished to cheer him with it. 

When two thousand mounted men of 
the force which, at Rondafelsdrift, was 
marching round the Magersfontein 
position rode on to Kimberley, Cronje 
simply gave orders to allow the 
colum to enter the town. This order, 
however, did not meet the views of 
Kolbe and Judge Hertzog, who resolved 
to turn back the enemy. The encounter 
took place, and ended to the advantage 
of the Free Staaters. The enemy's 
cavalry was beaten back, and did not 
enter Kimberley: at least, not then. 

Thanks to his vigorous action, 
General Du Toit of the Transvaal Army 
had been enabled to bring his Long Tom 
from Ottoskopje and send it to Boshof. 

The general had not been home 
since the beginning of the war, and 
even now his stay was to be but a 
short one. But, when a burgher set 
out, he did so with the conviction 
that he would not see his wife and 
child again before the end of the 
fighting, and then only if God spared 
his life. The old general knew that 
the war could last long, very long yet, 
and that the parting would be painful 
and bitter. He knew also that presently 
the English would come and, in his 
absence, rob his dear ones of all they 
possessed. He felt how cruel their 
fate would be, when they were driven 
to wander roofless , shelterless. Yet, 
however great his love for his women- 
folk, his duty called him away. His 
to protect his country and to leave 
the protection of his nearest and dearest 

14 



L82 



III.KOKS OF TIIK IJOKR WAR 



to Almighty God. The few hours which 
he was able to spend at home he had to 
devote to putting together a few things 
which he would require on commando 
and which could no longer be sent to 
him from home. All busied themselves 
eagerly with the necessary packing, and, 
although every heart was oppressed, 
no tears were shed. There was a 
choking in the throat, it is true, but 
all, with the greatest heroism, brought 



for wife and child. Above all, however, 
rose the feeling for independence which 
alone made that parting possible. 

The general mounted his horse, his 
Mauser slung over his shoulder, his 
bandoleer newly filled. A linen sack 
full of cartridges lay across the saddle. 
The attendant carried a reserve Mauser. 

A last pressure of the hand, a last 
farewell, and soon the clatter of the horses' 
hoofs was lost in the stillness of the 




A TRANSVAAL AMBULANCE. 



the greatest sacrifice to bear that dear 
independence can exact. A couple of 
hours' sleep after the parting meal, to 
which little honour was done, and, be- 
fore break of day, the general's horse and 
that of his trusty little Kaffir attendant 
stood saddled before the door. The 
leave-taking was short. The kisses 
exchanged contained a world of sorrow, 
of gratitude for life enjoyed, of love 



night. The women listened to the last 
to the dying sound, and all they said 
was: 

"If we only win!'' 

Only an hour or two elapsed before 
the British mounted troops trotted 
briskly up to the house and surrounded 
it on every side. Their commander 
rode up to the front door, where the 
young girl appeared just at the moment 




MRS. LOUIS BOTHA. 



14 : 



184 



HEROES OF THE BOER WAR. 



when he was preparing to enter the 
passage, horse and all. The girl's tall 
figure rose up and, without faltering, 
she pushed the big Irish hunter back, 
so that it reared on its hind legs and 
almost threw its rider. The soldiers 
stood dumfoundered at this coolness, 
and their amazement increased when 



their homes. And so we are prepared 
to expect every thing from you; and 
yet we are not afraid." 

A moment later, General Tucker 
and his staff rode up to the house, and 
his first question was whether there 
were any arms there. General Kolbe 
had taken the Mausers with him, but 





3 


mm 






J 


H 
/ 1 Iw 
\\ 

1 i r '' 




B 


■ 




MRS. BERRETT. 

MRS. BERRETT WAS THREE MONTHS ON COMMANDO AND WAS WOUNDED AT THE BATTLE 

OF SPION KOP: 23-25 January 1900. 



they heard that only four women and 
a child inhabited this house. 

"But aren't you afraid?" one of them 
asked. "How do you know what you 
have to expect?" 

"Yes," was the undaunted reply. 
"You people come to this country to 
murder our fathers, brothers and hus- 
bands for the sake of our gold and 
diamonds. You burn our farms and 
drive the women and children from 



one revolver of small calibre was left 
behind. The girl, however, asked for 
leave to be allowed to keep this, in 
order at least to be able to keep the 
Kaffirs on the farm in restraint. 

"Do you know how to fire it?" 
asked the officer, mockingly. 

"Every African woman knows how 
to manage a gun and a horse," was the 
proud retort. "Shall I show you?" 

But the officer was afraid of the 



S()I Til AFRICAN WIVES AND DAUGHTERS. 



18:. 




"-:' 



THE FATHER AND THE BRIDEGROOM LEAVING FOR THE WAS. 



ominously-glittering eyes, and thought 
the weapon safer in his own hands than 
in the girl's. 

That day and the two next, General 
Tucker and his ten thousand men 
bivouacked on Kolbe's farm. The 
soldiers were tired and hungry and 
begged for a piece of bread. What 
the women had to give they gave to 
the poor Tommies. When, however, 
later, the officers ordered them to bake 
bread against good payment, they roundly 
refused to work as servants for their 
enemies, and no threats were able to 
move them. 

The day was spent in pitching camp, 
and towards evening a storm broke with 
tropical violence. The wind howled over 
the broad plains and made the canvas 
flap again. The downpour soaked the 
ground ; the wretched sentries shivered in 
the damp. 

A short, loud knocking was heard 
at the front door of the house. The 
general and his staff came to ask for 
leave to take their dinner indoors. 
The request could not be declined; but 



the women refused to sit down witli their 
arch-enemies. Chairs were brought 
into the hall and a candle placed on 
the table. Here the officers were allowed 
to wait till the women had finished 
their evening meal. The British general 
and his officers spent an hour in this 
way in that inhospitable house. Then 
one of the women came to say that 
the general's servant could lay the table, 
and soon the warriors were seated at 
the board. Champagne and whisky 
flowed in abundance; and, in spite of 
the fact that they were in the thick 
of war, there was no lack of toothsome 
dishes prepared by the general's cook. 
The hours passed, the general had 
already retired to rest, but the other 
gentlemen seemed to have no idea of 
rising. They could not be allowed to 
remain in the house for the night. But 
who would have the courage to go to 
tell them so? The young girl stepped 
bravely into the passage, but hesitated 
at the dining-room door. Twice she laid 
her hand on the knob. The laughter 
inside rose ever more loudly. Her heart 



186 



HEROES (>F THE BOEB WAB 



beat high in her breast. How would 
the officers receive her? Suddenly she 
summoned all her courage, and, throw- 
ing open the door, in a voice without 
a perceptible tremor, said, firmly: 

'•We are used to go to bed early; may 
I ask whether the gentlemen prefer 
to go out by the front or back door, 
so that I may lock one of the two?" 

Some of the officers would not hear 




MRS. LUCAS MRU K 11. She is only 25 years of age 
and was the brave general's second wife. "When Lady- 
smitll was relieved, and the fortunes of war went against 
the Boers, Mrs Aleijer joined her husband, but he would 
not allow her to enconter the fatigues and dangers of 
the war, and sent her home again. 



of going away, but the generals aide- 
de-camp remarked: 

"Gentlemen, if the ladies want to 
go to bed, we must not detain them." 

At the same time, he set the good 
example of getting up; and the rest 
followed the captain out into the 
inhospitable weather. 

Scarcely had the sun risen above 
the horizon on the following morning, 
before a fresh knocking came at the 



door, and a message was brought from 
the general ordering that all the milk 
from the cows was to be kept for him. 
Refusals and protests were of no avail; 
the order must be obeyed. On the 
third day, however, the news came from 
one of the British ambulances that they 
were short of milk for the sick and 
wounded, and, without a moment's 
hesitation, the mother sent out all that 
morning's milk , while the daughter 
informed the general that he could have 
no milk because the wounded needed it 
more than he, who wanted for nothing. 

Soon the bivouacking-time was over, 
and the troops were ordered to march 
for Bloemfontein, which had meanwhile, 
on the 13th of March 1900, been 
occupied by the English. One horse, 
however, had to be obtained before 
the march could be resumed. By 
the general's command , one of the 
officers went to Kolbe's house to buy 
a horse. Mrs. Pretorius, however, the old 
mother, refused to part with the animal 
to the enemy: 

"I should look upon it as treachery 
to sell a horse to assist the English in 
continuing this unjust Avar." 

"Then we shall have to command- 
eer one." 

"That I cannot prevent; but sell 
it, never!" she proudly replied. 

The answer was conveyed to the 
general and impressed him: 

"Let the woman keep her horse," 
he ordered; and the troops marched 
away full of admiration for so much 
courage and patriotism. 

A few weeks later came the official 
notice that all General Kolbe's property 
was confiscated, and, without a tear, 
the women saw the cattle driven away 
that constituted their wealth and their 
pride. An officer who assisted at the 
scene asked if they were not sorrow- 
stricken at their heavy loss: 

"No," said Mrs. Kolbe, "we can get 
all this back; but, if we lose our country, 
we shall have lost it for ever." 



SOUTH AFRICAN WIVES AND DAUGHTERS. 



187 



"But if your husband had stayed 
quietly at home, you would have kept 
all this." 

"Yes, and my child would have 
reproached me in my old age with 
selling my country lor a property that 
is worth less to us than our independence.'' 

General Kolbe's house was long 
guarded by the English, who stood in 
admiring dread of the stout courage 
of tbese unique women , whose only 
protection was their undauntedness. 
They were proud to think that the Boer 
general was still in the field and the 
young girl's affianced husband serving 
under him as a common burgher. 

"You need not come home before 
we have won," were her parting words 
to him. "And, if you do return before, 
you need not show yourself in my 
sight." 

On a certain day in the early part 
of July 1900, Mrs. Kolbe and her sister 
went to Bloemfontein; a British officer 
had informed them that the general 
had been taken prisoner and that he 
would arrive at the capital the next 
day. Her coming was very sorrowful, 
but her going much more cheerful, 
for the news proved to be incorrect. 
Although she had not seen her husband 
since March, and although she longed 
for his return with heart and soul, yet 
she was glad that he was able to go 
on fighting for liberty. 

What has become of Mrs. Kolbe 
I do not know. But this I do know, 
that no misery, no privations, no life 
in the camps would have been able to 
break her pride in her husband, who 
remainded in the field, nor to kill her 
bright love of her country. 

And women like Mrs. Kolbe abounded 
in both Republics. General De la Key's 
wife, when taking leave of her husband, 
gave him a second son to take with 
him on commando, instead of the eldest, 
who had fallen at Two Rivers (Modder 
River) on the 28th of November 1899: 

"Go," she said; "never mind about 



us: God will care for you and inc. as 
He has done in the past." 

The women whom Lord Roberts sent 
to the Boer lines along the Pretoria 
and Komati Poort Railway cried to their 
husbands when, broken with fatigue, 
they arrived in the laagers: 

"Don't trouble about us; we'll look 
after ourselves. Yougo on fighting till the 
last Englishman has been driven out 
of the country." 

Ask those who have been to the 
camps how steadfast the women were, 
how firmly prepared to suffer all rather 
than lose their country. 

Many of them were ordered to 
persuade their husbands to lay down 
their arms. They refused, were hunted 
from their houses for that reason, and 
saw their homes burnt before their 
eyes. Others had not seen their hus- 
bands, who were prisoners of war, for 
a year or more. But, had the war 
lasted a year, two years longer, you 
would not have heard them complain: 

"If we only win," they said to them- 
selves. 

And, in the camps, or in the 
ruined homes, ill-protected by a few 
sheets of zinc, where these brave women 
dwelt, every evening the psalms resounded 
solemnly, as the liberty- breathing night- 
wind blew over the wide, still African veldt: 

"For I shall yet praise the Lord 
for the help of his countenance." 

That was the song of consolation 
of the Africander woman, her song of 
constant faith, which rang in the ear- of 
the British soldiers when they carried the 
women to the camps, when the houses 
shot up in flames. 

President Steijn had more than 
sufficient reason for saying, in a speech 
delivered just before the second invasion 
of Cape Colony, in December 1900: 

"Our women have gone through 
the fire of patriotism and not been 
found wanting. They will suffer patiently. 
if only we continue the sacred struggle 
for independence." 



188 



HEROES OF THE BOEB WAR. 



The women were hardened by the 
miseries which they had been made 
to undergo. Hatred for the enemy 
waxed continually in their hearts. In 
the camps, they had time to tell one an- 
other of their sufferings, and those 
narratives stifled the last spark of fond 
admiration for mighty England that 
might still have lurked in their bosoms. 
Their life of suffering and privation 
was only endurable while they saw that 
their husbands remained unfaltering in 
the fight to the last. 

And no more significant proof of 
the spirit of the captive Boer women 
can be given than that contained in the 
following letter: 

"58 Jut a Street, Braamfontein 

'•(Johannesburg), 
"31 December 1900. 
"To Military Police Officer, 

"Johannesburg. 
"Dear Sir, 

"On Thursday last, I was paid a visit 
by Mr. P. B. de Wet, late commander 
of the Federal troops of the Orange- 
Free-State and lastly dwelling at Durban. 



"Considering the visit was a source 
of annoyance to me and I prefer not to 
be troubled by such persons (as have 
sworn the oath of neutrality while their 
country is still waging war), I have the 
honor to request you hereby that you'll 
please give notice to such-like persons 
to abstain in future from paying any 
further visits to me. 
"I remain 

"Your obedient servant. 
(signed) "C. de Wet, 
"Wife of General Christian de Wet. 



I know that, alas, there were also 
women who spoke differently, thought 
differently; but I am devoting this 
chapter only to the brave , noble, 
patriotic wives and daughters of South 
Africa , the heroines whose number, 
fortunately, far exceeded that of the 
few who betrayed their country and their 
people, while their husbands were still 
fighting without flinching , like the 
heroes of Thermopylae, for the sacred 
ideal of libertv. 






m 



T*-> 



ih 







THE FAMILY OF GENERAL DE WET HELD AS PRISONERS OF WAR AT 
JOHANNESBURG. 



INDEX OF PLACES. 



B A S. = Basutoland ; BE. = Bechuanaland; B. B. — British Bechuanaland; C. = Cape Colony; G. = German 
South-West Africa: Gr.E. = Griqualand-East ; Gr. W. = Griqualand-West ; N. = Natal; O. = Orange Free State ; 
P. = Portuguese East Africa; R. = Rhodesia; T. = Transvaal (South African Republic); '/,. = Zululand ; M. = 
Miles; n. = North; n.-w. = North- West; n.-o. = North-East; w. = West; s. = South ; s.-w. = South-West ; 
s.-e. = South-East ; e. = Kast ; R.-S. = Railway-station. 



page 

AAR (de). C. Railway- Junction, 65 M. 

w. of Colesberg ... 177 

ABERDEEN. 0. 25 M. s.-w. of Graaff- 

Reinet 176 

ABERDEEN ROAD. C. Railway-station, 

37 M. s. of Graaff-Reinet 176 

ABRAHAMSKRAAL. 0. 37 M. n.-w. of 

Bloemfontein 146 

ADDO. C. Railway-station, 22 M. n.-e. 

of Uitenhage. 
ADENDORP. (J. Railway-station, 2 VaM. 

s of Graaff-Reinet. 
ALBERT JUNCTION. C. Railway - 

station, 4. M. n. of Burghersdorp. 
ALEXANDRIA. C. 27M.s.-w.of Bathurst. 
ALICE. C. 32 M. n.-w. of King Williams- 
town. 
ALICEDALE. C. Railway-station, 26 M. 

n. of Grahamstown. 
ALIWAL NORTH. C. Railway-station 

on the Orange-River. 
ALKMAAR, T. On theDelagoaRailway, 

10 M. w. of Nelspruit-station. 
AMALIENSTEIN. C. 12 M. e. of Lady- 
smith. 
AMALINDA. C. Railway-station, 7 M. 

n.-w. of East-London. 
AMANDELBOOM. C. 53 M. n.-w. of 

Fraserburg. 
AMATONG ALAND. On the east-coast, 

w. of Swasieland. 
AMERSFOORT. T. 46 M. s.-e. of 

Standertuu. 
AMSTERDAM. T. 31M.n.of PietRetief. 
ARUNDEL. C. Railway-station, 16 M. 

s. of Colesberg. 
ASHTON. C. Railway-station, 14 M. e. 

of Robertson. 
ATHERSTONE. C. Railway- station, 

8 M. n. of Grahamstown. 
AVONTUUR. C. About 8 M. s. of 

Uniondale. 
JBAILY. C. Railway-station, 18 M. s.-e. 

of Sterkstroom. 
BALFOUR. C. 15M.n. of Fort Beaufort. 
BALMORAL. T. 31 M. w. of Middel- 

burg, on the Delagoa Railway. 
BARBERTON. T. Railway-station, 85 to 

90 M. n.-e. of Ermelo 68, 150 

BARKLEY-WEST. C. 22 M. n.-w. of 

Kimberley. 



BARKLEY-EAST. C. 48 M. n.-e. of 
Dordrecht. 

BARKLEY PASS. C. 20 M. s. of 
Barkley-East. 

BATHURST. C. Railway-station, 8 M. 
n. of Port Alfred. 

BEACONSFIELD. C. In the neighbour- 
hood of Kimberlev. 

BEAUFORT (Fort). C. 45 M. n.-w. of 
King Williamstown. 

BEAUFORT- WEST. C. Railway-station, 
75 M. s.-w. of Victoria- West. 

BEDFORT. C. About 36 M. n. of Fort 
Beaufort. 

BEVERLEY. C. 40-50 M. s.-e.of Prieska. 

BELFAST. T. 37 M. e. of Middelburg, 
on the Delagoa-Railway. 

BELL. C. 13 M. s.-e. of Peddie. 

BELMONT. C. Railway-station, 18 M. 

n. of Orange River Station . . 143. 145 

BENSON VILLE. C. 14 M. n.-e. of Lady- 
grey. 

BEREA. BAS. 6 M. e. of Maseru. 

BERLIN. C. Railway-station, 21 M. n.-e. 
of East-London. 

BETHANIE. O. Railway-station, 31. M. 
s. of Bloemfontein. 

BETHEL. T. 32 M. w. of Ermelo. 

BETHESDA. C. 36 M. s.-w. of Middel- 
burg. 

BETHLEHEM. O. 44 M. e. ofSenekal. 

BETHULIE. O. Railway-station, 22 M. 
s.-e. of Springfontein. 

BIESJESPOORT. C. Railway-station, 
22 M. s. of Victoria-West. 

BITTERFONTEIN. C. 48 M. n.-w. of 
van Rhynsdorp. 

BLANCO. C 3 M. n. of George. 

BLANCO DRIFT. C. In the neighbour- 
hood of Blanco. 

BLANCY- J UNCTION. C. Railway- 
station, 27 M. n.-w. of East-London. 

BLAUWBANK. 0. 25 M. s.-e. of Kroon- 

stad 131 

BLINKLIP. Gr.W. 48 M. n. of Griqua- 
town. 

BLINKWATEII. ( !. 26 M. e. of Bedford. 

BLOEMFONTEIN. Capital of theOrange 
Free State. . xxii, 3, 5, 11, 37, 38, 
40, 41, 51, 53, 55, 59, 73, 77, 78, 87. 

130, 132, 133, 146, 174, 186 



190 



INDEX OF PLACES. 



BLOEMHOF. T. 31 M. n.-e. of Chri- 
stiana, on the Vaal River. 

BLUECLIFF. C. Railway-station, 18 M. 
n. of Uitenliage. 

BOK FONTEIN. C. 30 M. n.-e. of Piquet- 
berg. 

BOKSBFRG T. Railway-station, about 
13 or 14 M. e. of Johannesburg. 

BOLO. C. 28 M. s.-e. of (at heart. 

BOLOTWA. C. 12 M. n.-e. of St. Marks. 

BONAWA. C. 13 M. n. of Gala. 

BOOMPLAATS. O. 18 s.-e. of Jagers- 

fontein xviii 

BOSHOF. 0. 75 M. n -w. of Bloem- 

fontein 24, 106, 108 

BOTERKLOOF. C.3-)M.s.-w.ofCalvinia. 

BOTHA'S PAS. N.andO. border. In the 

Drakenberg, 22 M. s.-w. ofVolksrust. 124 

BOTHAVILLE. O. 44 M. n.-w. of Kroon- 

stad 136 

BOVEN DOWNES. C. 35 M. s.-e. of 
Calvinia. 

BRAKFONTEIN. C 30 M.e. of Victoria- 
West, 

BRANDEWIJNSKUIL. G. 45 M. n.-e. 
of Carnarvon. 

BRANDFORT. O. 36 M. of Bloem- 
fontein, on the Railway. 

BRANDSVLEY. C. About 75 M. n.-e. 

of Calvinia 174 

BRANDWACHT. C. 30 M.e. of Calvinia. 

BRAUNSCHWEG. C. 10 M. n. of 
King Williamstown. 

BREAKFASTVLEY. C. 12 M n.-w. of 
Peddie. 

BREDASDORP. C. 40 M. n.-e. of 
Swellendam. 

BREMERSDORP. T. About 40 M. e. of 
Amsterdam. 

BRITSTOWN. C. 20 to26M.w.ofDeAar. 

BRONKHORSTSPRULT. T. Railway- 
station, 43 M. w. of Middelburg. xix 

BUFFELSKLIP. C. 33 M. s.-w. of Wil- 
li iwraore. 

BFLFOXTEIX. C. 35M.n.-w.ofPrieska. 

BULTFOXTEIX. O. 58 M. n. of Bloem- 
fontein. 

BURGHERSDORP. C. Railwav-station, 
about 22 M. s. of Aliwal North. 

BUSHMAXKOP. T. 22 M.n.-e.of Heidel- 
berg. 

CALA. C. 40 M. s. of Barklev-East. 

CALEDOX. C. 38 M. s.-e. of" Stellen- 
bosch. 

CALITSDORP. C. 25M.e.ofLadvsmith. 

CALVINIA. C. 70 M. w. of Fras'erburg. 

CAMPBELL. Gr.W. 40 M.e. of Griqua- 
town. 

CAPE TOWN. Capital of Cape Colony. 

xiv, xv. 4, 52, 88, 169, 174, 176 

CARXARVOX. C. 75 M. n.-e. of Fraser- 
burg. 



CARXARVOX FARM. C. 10 M. s. of 

Cala. 
CAROLINA. T. 46 M.s.-e.ofMiddelburg. 
CATHOART. C. 28 M. n.-w. of Bolo. 
CATHKIN-PEAK. N. 20 M. n. of 

Eastcourt, 
CERES. C. 20 M. n. of Worcester. 
CHARLESTOWN. N. 24 M.n. of New- 
castle. 
CHIVELEY. N. Railway-station, about 

8 M. s. of Colenso. 
CHRISTIANA. T. On the Vaal-River, 

31 M. s.-w. of Bloemhof. 
CLANW1LLIAM. C. About 60 M. s -w. 

of Calvinia. 
CLARKSON. C 21 M.w.ofHumansdorp. 
CLEARWATER. C. 20 M. s.-e. of Lady- 

grev. 
COERNEY. C. Railway-station, 37 M. 

n. of Port Elizabeth. 
COLESBERG. C. Railway-station, 22 M. 

w. of Norvals Pont. ... 135, 142, 145 
COLENSO. N. About 14 M. s. of Ladv- 

smith . 29,116,117,118,120,122,127,176 
COMMADAGGA. C. 25 M. e. of Dar- 
lington. 
COMMITTEEDRIFT. C. 21 M. n.-w. of 

Grahamstown. 
CONCORDIA. O. 31 M. s. of Winburs. 
CONSTABLE. C. Railway-station, 17 M. 

w. of Matjesfontein. 
COOKHOUSE. C 30 M. s. of Cradock. 
CRADOCK. C. Railway-station, 65 M. 

e. of Graaff-Reinet. 
CROCODILEPOEL. B. 80 M n.of Mafe- 

king. 
CROCODILEPOORT. T. Railway- 
station on theDelagoa-Bay, Railway 

21 M. n. of Barberton. 
CROCODILEPOORT. B. 32 M. n. of 

Mafeking. 
CUFERGAT. C. Railway-station, 15 M. 

s.-e. of Stormberg-J unction. 
DAMSLAAGTE. C. 33 M. s. of Suther- 
land. 
DALMANUTA. T. Railway - station. 

44 M. e. of Middelburg 92 

DANTELSKUIL. C, 85 M. n.-w. of 

Kimberley. 
DARLING. C. 21 M. s. of Hopefield. 
DARLINGTON. C. 43 M.s.of Pearston. 
DEELFONTEIN. C Railway-station, 

31 M s.-w. of De Aar. 
DELAGOABAY. P. On the East coast 

of Africa xviii, xxi 

DERDEPOORT. T. 64M.n.-e ofZeerust 46 
DOORNBERGSFONTEIN. C. 28 M. 

s.-e. of Prieska. 
DOORNDRAAI. O. 31 M. n.-e. of 

Kroonstad. 
DORDRECHT. C. Railway-station, 46M. 

e. of Stormberg-Junction. 



[NDEX OF PLACES 



191 



DOUGLAS. C. 65 M.s.-w.of Kimberley. 
DRAGHOENDER. C. 60M.e ofKenhart. 
DRAKENBERG. Mountains, between 

Natal and the Orange FreeState xvii, 

xviii, 96, 125 
URIVERSDRIFT. C. 13 M. n.-e. of 

Queenstown. 
DROMELVLEY. C. 20 M. n.-w. of 

Piquetberg. 
DRONFIELDSTATION. C. Railway- 
station, 10 M. n. of Kimberley. 
DURBAN. N. Seaport on the coast of 

Natal 188 

DUNDEE. N. 34 M. s.-e. of Newcastle. 

Railway-station 96, 115, 116 

DIJSSELDORP. C. 14 M. e. of Oudts- 

hoorn. 
DYNAMITE FACTORY (Modderfon- 

tein). T. About 12 M. n.-e. of 

Johannesburg. 
EASTCOURT. N. Railway-station, 31 M. 

s. of Ladysmith 99 

EAST-LONDON. C. About 100 M. s.-e. 

of Queenstown, on the coast. 
EBENEZER. C. 26 M. w. of van Rhyns- 

dorp. 
EDENBURG. O. Railway-station, 43M. 

s.-w. of Bloenifontein. 
ELANDSBERG. C. 20 M. s.- w. of Cath- 

cart. 
ELANDSDRIFT. C 20 M e.of Cradock. 
ELANDSFONTEIN. T. Railway-station, 

8 M. e. of Johannesburg. 
ELANDSLAAGTE. N. Railway-station, 

16 M. n.-e. of Ladysmith 24, 25, 40, 

42, 84, 85, 100, 151 
ELANDSVLEY. C 60 M s. of Calviuia. 
ELEBI. R. 120 M. n.-w. of Palla. 
ELIM. C. 17 M. s.-w. of Bredasdorp. 
EMPANDHLEMI. Z. 30 M. n.-w. of 

Eshowe. 
ENON. C 40 M. n. of Port Elizabeth. 
ENSLIN (Graspan). C. Railway-station, 

26 M. n. of Orange -River Station 
ERMELO. T. 53 M, n.-e. of Standerton. 
ESHOWE. Z. About78M.n.-e.of Durban. 
FAURESMITH. O. 37 M. w.ofEdenburg 142 
FICKSBURG. O. On the Caledon river, 

40 M. n.-e. of Ladybrand. 
FLOOWKRAAL. C. 22 M. n.-e. of 

Jamestown. 
FOURIESBURG. O. 28 M. s. of Beth- 
lehem. 
FRANKFORT. O. 83M e of Heilbron. 
FRANKFORT. C. 11 M. n. of King 

Williamstown. 
FRASERBURG. C. 70 M. n.-w. of Beau- 
fort-West. 
FRASERBURG ROAD O. Railwav-stat., 

45 M. s.-w. of Beaufort-West. 
FRENCHHOEK. O. 25 M. s.-w. of Wor- 
cester. 



FRERE. N. Railway-station, 12 M. b. 

of Colenso. 
UABERONES. B. B. 65 M.n.of Zeerust. 
GARIES. C. 83M.ii -w.ofvan Rhynsdorp 
GOUD1VI. C. Railway-station, 8 M. w. 

of Worcester. 
GEORGE. C. 29 M.s.-e. ofoiidtshooni. 
GLEN-SU)L\(i. O. Railway -station, 

13 M. n.-e. of Bloemfontein. 
GLENCAIRN. C. 36M.s.ofQueei.stown. 
GLENCOE. N. Railway-station, 31 M. 

ii -e. of Ladysmith 9<i, 1 HI 

GLEN CONNOR. C. Railway -station, 

about 40 M. n.-w. of Port Elizabeth. 
GONG-GONG. C. 30 M. n.-w. of Kim- 
berley. 
GOEDVERWACHT. C. 14 M. w. of 

Piquetberg. 
GORDONIA (District). Gr.W., w. of 

Griqualand-West. 
GRAAFF-REINET. C. R.-S., 56 M. s.-w. 

of Middelbnrg .... xiv, xv, 173, 176 
GRAHAMSTOWN. C. 31 M. n.-w. of 

Port Prince Alfred. 
GRASPAN. C. Railway-station, 26 M. 

n. of Orange-River Station 143 

GREAT WINTERBERG. O. 28 M. s. 

of Tarkastad. 
GREYLINGSTAD. T. Railway-station, 

29 M. s.-e. of Heidelberg/ 
GREYTON. C. 30 M. s.-w. of Worcester. 
GREYTOWN. N. 26 M. n. of King 

Williamstown. 
GRIQUATOWN. Gr.W. 44 M. w. of 

Kimberley. 
GROOTE DOORN PAN. C. 20 M. s. 

of Prieska. 
GROOTE VLAKTE. C. 14 M. n.-w. of 

Somerset-East. 
GROOT WINTERHOEK. C. 28 M. s.-e. 

of Piquetberg. 
HAARLEM. C. 13 M. s.-e of Uniondale. 
HAKNEY. C. 30 M. s.-e. of Tarkastad. 
HANKEY. C. 31 M. w. of Uitenhage. 
HANOVER. C. 44 M. s.-e. of DeAar. 
HANOVER ROAD. C Railway-stat., 

38 M. s-e. of De Aar 177 

BARRYSMITH. Terminus of rail- 
way, 52 M. e. of Bethlehem. 
HARTEBEESTKUIL. C. 13 M s.-w. 

of Aberdeen. 
HEBRON. C. 31 M. n. of Kimberley. 
BEIDELBERG. T. About 30 M. s.-e. 

of Johannesburg 39, 

HEIDELBERG. C. 31 M.e.ofSwellen- 

daiii. 
HEILBRON. o. Railway-station, 53 M. 

n.-e. of Kroonstad. 
HEKPOORT. T. 38 M. s -w. of Pretoria. 
HELVETIA. T. 7 to 8 M.n.-e.of Macha- 

dodorp 
EELVETIA. <>. 20 M. n. of Smithfield. 



192 



INDEX OF PLACES. 



HEMON C. Railway-station, 13 M. n. 
of Wellington. 

HERSCHEL. C. 30M.e. of Aliwal North. 

HERTZOG. C. lOM.n. of Fort Beaufort. 

BEUVELKRAAL. C 32 M. e. of Wil- 
low mo re. 

HERBERTSDALE. C. 24 M. n.-w. of 
Mosselbav. 

HLANGWANE BILL. N. 3 M. e. of 
Colenso. 

HOOP(de). C. 5 M. n. of Malmesbury. 

HOXIXGSPRU1T. O. Railway-station, 

18 M. n -e. of Kroonstad . . . 134, 156 

HOPEFIELD. C. 25 M. s.-w of Piquet- 
berg. 

HOPETOWX. C. 9 M. n.-w. of Orange- 
River Station. 

HOOPSTAD. O. 65 M. n.-e. of Boshof. 

HOUTKRAAL. C. Railway-station, 19M. 
n. of De Aar. 

HOUWHOEK. C. 8 M. w. of Caledon. 

HOUWATER. G. 55 M. s.-e. of Prieska. 

HO WICK. X. HM.n.ofPietermaritzburg. 

HUMANSDORP. C. 41 M. s.-w.of Uiten- 
hage. 

IXDWE. C. 20 M. e. of Dordrecht. 

IRENE. T. Railway-station, 11 M. s. 
of Pretoria. 

ISAXDHLWAXA. Z. 32 M. s.-e. of 
Dundee. 

ISEPIXGO. N. 20 M. s.-w. of Durban. 

IXOPO. X. 60 M. s.-w. of Durban. 

JACOBSDAL. O. 26 M.s.of Kimberley 

108 129 

JAGERSFOXTEIX. 0. 31 M. w. of 
Edenburg. 

JAGERSFOXTEIX. T. 25 M. n. of 
Mafeking. 

JAGERSBOSCH. C. 36 M. w. of Hu- 
mansdorp. 

JAKHALSFONTEIN. C. 6M. n.-e. of 
Sutherland. 

JAKHALSKUTLEX. C. ISM. s.-w. of 
De Aar. 

JAMESTOWN. C. 23 M. n.-w. of Dord- 
recht. 

JAXSEXVILLE. C. 42 to 44 M. s. of 
Graaff-Reinet. 

JOHANNESBURG. T. 34 M. s. of Pre- 
toria . . xxi, 16, 18, 24, 27, 28, 32, 
40, 46, 78, 90, 91, 92, 133, 139, 150 

KAAPMUIDEX. T. Railway-station, 
38 M. n. of Komatipoort. 

KAKAMAX. C. About 130 M. n.-w. of 
Prieska, on the Orange-River. 

KAKAMANSDRIFT. 0. 44 M. s.-w. of 
Upington. 

KALABASKRAAL. C. Railway-station, 
10 M. s. of Malmesbury. 

KAMAGGAS. C. 27 M. s.-w- of Ookiep. 

KAMIESBERG. s. of Ookiep in Na- 
maqualand. 



KAHNEMELKSPRUIT. C. 20 M. n.-w. 

of Barkley-East. 
KATKOP. O. 15 M. s.-e. of Heilbron. 
KEISKAMAHOEK. C. 20 M. n.-w. of 

King Williamstown. 
KENDREW. C. Railway-station, 20 M. 

s. of Graatt-Reinet. 
KENHART. C. About 100 M. w. of 

Prieska 165 

KHEIS. C. 70 M. w. of Griquatown. 
KIMBERLEY. C. 33 M. s.-w. of Boshof 

xviii, xxi, 73, 105, 106, 107, 109, 

139, 141, 143, 145, 181 
KING WILLIAMSTOWN. C. R.-S., 

about 40 M. n.-w. of East-London. 
KLAARSTROOM. C. 56 M. n. of Wil- 

lowmore. 
KLEINPOORT. C. Railway-station, 43M. 

n.-w. of Uitenhage. 
KLERKSDORP. T. Railway -station, 

30 M. s.-w. of Potchefstroom ... 59 
KLIPDRIFT. O. 20 M.s.-e.of Bethlehem. 
KLIPHEUVEL. C. Railway -station, 

16 M. s. of Malmesbury. 
KLIPPLAAT C. Railway-station, about 

50 M. s. of Graaff-Reinet. 
KLIPRIVIER. T. Railway-station, 13 M. 

s. of p:iandsfontein .... 29, 101, 152 
KXAPDAAR. C. Railway-station, 33 M. 

n. of Aliwal-Xorth. 
KXYSXA. C. 27 M. s. of Uniondale. 
KOEKEMOER. T Railway-station, 9 M. 

e. of Klerksdorp. 
KOEBERG. C. 40 M. e. of Ookiep. 
KOFFIEFOXTEIX. O. 26 M. s.-e. of 

Jacobsdal 131 

KOKSTAD. C. 70 M. n.-e. of Maclear. 
KOMASTOXE. C. 14M.s.-e.of Tarkastad. 
KOMATIPOORT. T. 61 M. n.-e. of 

Barberton, on the Delagoabav- 

Railway 30, 34, 187 

KOMGHA. C. 30M. n. of East-London. 
KOEDOESDRIFT. O. 39 M. e of Mod- 

der-River Station. 
KRAAIPAN. C. Railwav-station, 30 M. 

s.-w. of Mafeking . . 142, 143 

KROOXSTAD. O. Railway-station, 63M. 

n. of Winburg . . . 11, 38, 41, 59, 136 
KRUGERSDORP. T. Railway-station, 

about 18 M. n.-w. of Johannes- 
burg .... xxi, 42, 117, 149, 158, 160 
KRUGERSPOST. T. About 13 M. n.-e. 

of Lijdenburg. 
KWELEGHA. C 14M.n. of East-Lond. 
L.ADYBRAXD. O. 77 M. e. of Bloem- 

fontein 131 

LADYFRERE. C. 25 M. n.-e. of Queens- 
town. 
LADYSMITH. N. About 56 M. s. of 

Newcastle . . 7, 29, 57, 84, 96, 97, 

98, 99, 100, 101, 103, 107, 115, 

151, 152, 153, 156, 186 



INDEX OF PLACES. 



193 



page 

LADYSMITH. C. 54M.w.ofOudtshoorn. 
LADYGREY. C. 32M.e.ofAliwal North. 
LAINGSBURG. C. Railway-station, 

30 M. n.-w. of Ladysmith. 
LAING'S-NEK. N. 5M.ofVolksrust, in 

the north of Natal . . . xx, 152, 158, 159 
LANGVERWACHT. 0. 16M.s.ofVrede. 
LESSEYTOWN. C. 6 M.n.ofQueenstown. 
LETJESBOSCH. C. Railway -station, 

23 M. s.-w. of Beaufort-West. 
LEIJDS. T. 80 M. n.-w. of Pretoria. 
LEIJDSDORP. T. About 70 M. w. of 

Pietersburg. 
LICHTENBURG. T. 78 M. s.-w. of 

Rustenburg 140, 147 

LELYFONTEIN. C. About 60 M. s. of 

Ookiep. 
LINDLEY. O. 45 M. s.-e. of Kroonstad 134 
LOBATSI.BE. R.-S., 50 M.n.ofMaf eking. 
LORENZO MARQUEZ. P. On the De- 

lagoa-Bay. 
LOWRY PASS. C. Railway - station, 

13 M. s. of Stellenbosch. 
LUCKHOFF. 32 M.w.ofFauresmith. 
LIJDENBURG. T. 42 M. n.-e. of Ma- 

chadodorp xviii, 85 

ST. LUCIA BAY. Z. On the coast of 

the Indian Ocean. 
ST. LUCIA CAPE. Z. On the coast of 

the Indian Ocean. 
MACHADODORP. T. 50M.e.ofMiddel- 

burg, on the Delagoa-Railway. 
MACLEAR. Gr.E. 48 M. e. of Barkley- 

East. 
MAFEKING. B.B. R.-S., about 95 M. 

n.-e. of Vryburg . . . xxi, 142, 143, 145 
MAFETENG. Bas. 13 M. e. of Wepener. 
MAGERSFONTEIN. O. About 15 M. s. 

ofKimberley 7,8, 23, 24. 27, 100, 105, 

108, 109, 112, 129, 131, 141, 143, 145, 

146, 165, 176, 181 
MAJUBAHILL. N. 41 M.e.ofVrede xx, 100 
MALAGAS. C. 20 M. s.-e. of Swellendam. 
MALMESBURY. C. 36 M. n.-e. of 

Capetown. 
MARAISBURG. C. 38M.n. of Cradock. 
MARICO. T. About 95 M. n.-w. of 

Rustenburg. 
MATJESFONTEIN. C. 73 M. n.-e. of 

W oropsfcpr 
MEIRINGSPOORT. C. 21 M. n.-e. of 

Oudtshoorn. 
MELMOTH. Z. 68 M. s.-e. of Vrijheid. 
MIDDELBURG. T. About 78 M. e. of 

Pretoria, on the Delagoa Railway 126 
MIDDELBURG. C. Railway-stat., about 

24 M. s. of Naauwpoort-Junction. 
MIDDELBURG ROAD.C. Railway-stat. 

at Middelburg. 
MIDDELPOST. C. 36M.s.-e.ofCalvinia. 
MIDDELTON. C. Railway-station, 31 M. 

n. of Alice Dale. 



M1DDELWATER. ( ' About 40 M. s. of 

Pearston. 
MODDERFONTEIN. ( ). 30 M. s.-e. of 

Kroonstad. 
M( JDDERFONTEIN. C. 25 M. n.-e. of 

Piquetberg. 
MODDER-RIVER STATION. C. R.-S., 

22 M. s. of Kimberley. 
MODDERSPRUIT. N. 9. M. n.-e. of 

Ladysmith 121 

MOHALLES HOEK. BAS. 28 M. s. of 

Mafeteng. 
3IOLTENO. C. 17M.n.-w.ofSterkstroom. 
MOUNT-AUX-SOURCES. N. 52M.s.-w. 

of Ladysmith. 
MONTAGUE. C. 25 M. n.-w. of Swellen- 
dam. 
MORTIMER. C. R.-S., 1 7 M.s. of Cradock. 
MORYA. BAS. 22 M. n.-e. of Mafeteng. 
MOSSEL BAY. O Seaport, 215 M. e. 

of Capetown. 
MUISKRAAL. C. 18 to 23 M. n.-w. of 

Riversdale. 
MURRAYSBURG. C. 52M.w.ofGraaff- 

Reinet. 
NAAUWPOORT. C. Railway-station, 

32 M. s. of Colesberg. 
NAUWPOORT. O. lOM.n.-e.ofVrede. 
NAPIER. C. 40 M. s.-e. of Swellendam. 
NELSPRUIT. C. Railway-station, 32 M. 

n.-e. of Beaufort-West. 
NELSPRUIT. T. Railway-station, 60M. 

w. of Komatipoort. 
NEW -CASTLE. N. Railway -station, 

26 M. s. of Volksrust . . . 96, 102, 125 
NEW BETHESDA. C. 36 M. s.-w. of 

Middelburg. 
NIEKERKS HOPE. C. 14 M. w. of 

Alexandria. 
NORVALSPONT. C. Railway-station, 

on the Orange-River, 30 M. s.-w. of 

Springfontein. 
NIJLSTROOM. T. R.-S., 72 M. n. of 

Pretoria, on the Pietersburg-Railway. 
OCKERTSKRAAL. C. 15 M. s.-w. of 

Ladysmith. 
ODENDAALSTROOM. C. 18 M. n.-w. 

of Aliwal North. 
< >LIFANTSHOEK. T. 13 M. s. of 

Rustenburg. 
OLIFANTSVLEY. C. 72 M. s.-e. of 

Kenhart. 
ONDERSTE DOORNS. C. 70 M. s. of 

Kenhart. 
OORLOGSKLOOF. C. 27 M. n.-e. of 

van Rhvnsdorp. 
OOKIEP. C. About 140 M. n. of van 

Rhvnsdorp 174 

ORANGE-RIVER STATION. C. R.-S., 

9 M. s.-e. of Hopetown. 
OTTOSKOPJE. Gr. W. 4 M. n.-e. of 

Kimberley 107 



194 



INDEX OF PLACES. 



OTTOSHOOP. T. 16 M. s. of Zeerust. 
ori>TSH<M>HN.C. 54M.w.ofUniondale 176 
OUT3PAN. C. 20 M. n.-e. of Uniondale. 
<>I TIIINC HAS. 30M.n.-w.oflh-rschol. 
PAARDEKRAAL. T. 3M.n.ofKrugers- 

dorp. 
PAARDEKRAAL. O. 9 M.s.-w.of Heil- 

bron xix, 42, 43 

I'VARDENBERG. O. 28M.s.of Boshof 

23, 32, 73, 108, 110, 131, 144, 158, 159 
PAARL. C. 33 M. u.-e. <>( Capetown. 
PAKHUIS. C. 10 M e. of Clan william. 
PAL A P YE. R, 145 M. w. of Fort Tuli. 
PALLA. BE. 82 M. s. of Palapve. 
PELLA. C. 125 M. w. of Kenhart. 
PALMIETFONTEIN. T. 23 M. n.-e. of 

Staiiderton. 
PAMPOENPOORT. C. 33 M. w. of Car- 
narvon. 
PAN. T. R.-S., 15 M. e. of Middelburg. 
PARIJS. O. 55 M. n. of Kroonstad, on 

the Vaal-River. 
PEARSTON. C. 45 M. s.-e. of Graaff- 

Reinet 
PEDDIE. C 35 M. w. of Grahamstown. 
PETERSBURG. C. w. of Graaff-Reinet 
PETRUSVILLE. C. 25 M. n.-e. of 

Philippstown. 
PHILADELPHIA. C. 20 M. n. of 

Capetown. 
PHILIPSTOWN. C. 32 M. n.-e. of 

De Aar. 
PHIZANTEFONTEIN. C. 38 M. s. of 

Carnarvon. 
PHILIPPOLIS. O. 24 M. w. of Spring- 

fontein. 
PIENAARSSTAT[ON T . T. Railway-stat., 

38 M. n. of Pretoria. 
PIETERSHILL. N. 4 to 6 M. n. of Colenso, 

s. of Ladvsmith .... 100, 152 
PIETERMARITZBURG. N. Capital of 

Natal, 45 M. n.-w. of Durban xviii, 96 
PIETRETIEF. T. 62 M. n.-e. of Volks- 

rust. 
PILGRIMSRUST. T. 23 M. n.-e. of 

Lijdenburg. 
PIQUETBERG. C. 51 M. s. of Clan- 

william. 
PITSANI. BE. R.-S.,32M.n.ofMafeking. 
PITSANI. BE. 35 M. w. of Mafeking. 
PIETERSBURG. T. Terminus of rail wav, 

about 150 M. n.-e. of Pretoria ... 64 
POPLAR GROVE. O. 30 M. s.-e. of 

Boshof 133, 159 

PORT ALFRED. C. Seaport, 70 M. 

s.-w. of East-London. 
PORT ELIZABETH. C. Seaport, on 

the south coast of Cape Colonv. 
PORTERVELLE. C. 15 M. s.-e. of 

Piquetberg. 
PORT NOLLOTH. C. Seaport on the W.- 

coast, about 72 M. n.-w. of Ookiep. 



PORT SHEPSTON. N. Seaport, 70 
M. s.-w. of Durban. 

POSTRETIEF. C 16 M.w. of Seymour. 

POTCHEFSTROOM. T. Railway-station, 

54 M. w. of Vereeniging . . . 138, 171 

POTFONTEIN. T. 23M.e.ofStanderton. 

POTSDAM. C. Railway-station, 17 M. 
n.-w. of East-London. 

PRETORIA. Capital of the South- 
African Republic xix, xxi, 4, 13, 
15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 30, 40, 42, 48, 49, 
62, 63, 64, 65, 69, 70, 71, 75, 87, 90, 

93, 96, 100, 102, 121, 133, 131, 159 

PRIESKA. C 78 M. w. of Hopetown 

165, 173 

PRINCE ALBERT. C. 29 M. n.-w. of 
Oudtshoorn. 

PRINCE ALBERT ROAD. C. Railway- 
station, 25 M. n.-w. of Prince Albert. 

PRINCE ALFRED. C. 6 M. n. of Ceres. 

PUFF ADDER WATER. C. 21 M. s.-e. 
of Pella. 

PUTFONTEIN. C. 30 M.s. of Aberdeen. 

PUTTERSKRAAL. C. Railway-station, 
6 M. s.-e. of Sterkstroom. 

QUEENSTOWN. C. Railway-station, 
30 M. s.-e. of Sterkstroom. 

RAM ATH LAB AM A. BE. Railway-stat,, 
18 M. n. of Mafeking. 

RAMOUTSA. BE. Railway-station, 72 M. 
n. of Mafeking. 

RAWSONVILLE. 0. 20 M. w. of Wel- 
lington. 

RAYNER. C. Railway-station, 7 M. n. 
of Stormberg-Junction. 

REENEN'S PAS (van). N. 20 M. e. of 

Harrvsmith (Drakenberg) 125 

REDDERSBURG. O. 32 M. s.of Bloem- 

fontein 133 

REITZ. O. 34 M. e. of Lindley. 

REITZBURG. O. 42 M.n. of Kroonstad. 

RENSBURG. C. R.-S., 9 Ms ofColesberg. 

REST (de). C. 22 M. n. of Piquetberg. 

RHODES. C. 20M.n.-e.ofBarklev-East. 

RHODESIA, n. of Transvaal. 

RHODESDRIFT. T. 30 M.s.-w.of Fort- 
Tuli. 

RHYNSDORP (van). C. 41 M. n. of 
Clan william. 

RICHMOND. C. 53 M. s. of De Aar. 

RICHMOND ROAD. C. Railway-stat., 
24 M. n.-w. of Richmond. 

RICHTERSVELD. C. 50 M. n. of Port 
Nolloth 

RIEBEEK. C. 30 M. n.-w. of Grahams- • 
town. 

RIETFONTEIN. T. 16 M. s.-w. of Pre- 
toria. 

RIETFONTEIN. C. 17 M. n.-e. of 
Maraisburg. 

RIETFONTEIN. T. 6 M. s. of Middel- 
burg. 



INDEX OF PLACES. 



195 



RIETFONTEIN. T. 10 M. s. of Lichten- 

burg. 

EIETVLEY. T. 16 M. s.-e. of Lichten- 
burg. 

RIVERSDALE. O. 1 1 M. n. of Lindley. 

ROBERTSON. C. Railway-station, 27 M. 
s.-e. of Worcester. 

RONDEGAT. C. 7 M. s.of Chuiwilliam. 

R< )( )DE AAR. C. 32 U. n.-w. of Piquet- 
berg. 

ROODE HOOGTE. C. Railway-station, 
10 M. s.-w. of Middelburg. 

ROODEKOP. C. North of Carnarvon. 

ROODEPOORT. T. Railway -station, 

7 M. s.-e. of Krugersdorp 149 

RORKESDRIFT. N. 24 M.s.-e.of Dundee. 

ROSME AD -JUNCTION. C. Railway- 
station, 28 M. s.-e. of Naauwpoort- 
Junction. 

ROUXVILLE. O. 47M.s.-w.ofWepener. 

RUSTENBURG. T. 60 M.w of Pretoria 46 

SANDFLATS. C. 15 M. s.-w. of Alice- 
dale. 

SALEM. C. 11 M. s. of Grahamstown. 

SANNA'S POST. O. 25 to 27 M. s.-e. 

of Bloemfontein 133, 137 

SARON. C. 10 M. n.-w. of Tulbagh. 

SCHMIDTSDRIFT. C On the Vaal, 
40 M. w. of Kimberley. 

SCHWEIZER REINEKE. ' T. 38 M. n. 
of Bloemhof. 

SENEKAL. O. 40 M. n.-e. of Winburg. 

SEVEN WEEKS POORT. C. 15 M. 
n.-e. of Ladysmith. 

SEYMOUR. 0. 17M.n.of KingWilliams- 
town. 

SHILOH. C. 25 M. s.-e. of Cala. 

SHOSHONG. BE. 70M.s -w.of Palapye. 

SIDBURY. C. 22 M. s.-e. of Grahams- 
town. 

SIMONSTOWN. O. Railway -station, 
18 to 20 M. s. of Capetown. 

SLANGFONTEIN. O. 40 M. n.-e. of 
Kroonstad. 

SMALDEEL. O Railway-station, 61 M. 

n.-e. of Bloemfontein 58 

SMITHFIELD. O. 42 M. s.-w. of De 
Wetsdorp 

SOMERSET. C. Railway-station, 27 M. 
s.-e. of Capetown. 

SOMERSET-EAST. C. Railway-station, 
90 M. n. of Port Elisabeth. 

SOUTHEYV1LLE. C. 35 M.e. of Queens- 
town. 

SPEKTAKEL. C. 17 M. s.-w.of Ookiep. 

SPIONKOP. N. 21 M. n.-w. of Colenso 

30, 123, 127, 151, 184 

SPITSKOP. C. About 40 M. w. of 
Barkley-East. 

SPITSKOP. O. 35 M.e. of Kroonstad. 

SPRINGBOKFONTEIN. C. A little s. 
of Ookiep. 



SPRINGE* >NTHIN. 0. Railway-Junc- 
tion, 40 M. s.-w. of Edcnburg. 

SPRINGS. T. Railway-Terminus, 25 M. 
w. of Johannesburg. 

SPYTFONTEIN.Gr.W. Railway-station, 
12 M. s. of Kimberley. 

STANDERTOX. T. Railway-station. 

s.-e. of Johannesburg 117 

STANGER. N. Railway-station, 40 M. 
n.-e. of Durban. 

ST. ALBANS. C. 30 M. s.-e. of Cala. 

STELLENBOSCH. C. 25 M. e. of Cape- 
town. 

STEINKOPF. C. 55M.e.ofPortNolloth. 

STERKSTROOM. C. 25 M. s -e. of 
Stormberg- Junction. 

STEYNSBURG. C. Railway -station, 
42 M. e. of Rosmead-Junction. 

STEIJNSDORP. T. 25 M. s.of Barberton. 

STEIJTTERVILLE. C. About 70 M. 
n.-e. of Uniondale 

ST. MARKS. C. 31 M. s.-e. of Queens- 
town. 

STORMBERG. C. Railway-station, 20 M. 

s. of Burghersdorp . . . . 132, 133, 176 

STOLZENFELS. G. 60 M.n.-e.of Pella. 

STUTTERHEIM. C. 21 M. n. of King 
Williamstown. 

SUTHERLAND. C. 60 M. s.-w. of 
Fraserburg. 

SWANEPOELSPOORT. C. 26 M. n.-e. 
of Willowmore. 

SWELLENDAM. C. 60 M. s.-e. of 
Ladysmith. 

TAAIBOSCHFONTEIN. C. Railway- 
station, 30 M. s.-e. of De Aar. 

TAFELBERG. O. 55 M. s.-e. of Kroon- 
stad 

tamboersfontp:in. C. 40 M. w. 

of Beaufort- West. 
TARKASTAD C. Railway-station, 38 M. 

e. of Cradock. 
TAUNGS. C. R.-S., 40 M. s. of Vryburg. 
THABA BOSIGO. BAS. 43 M. u.-e. of 

Mafeteng. 
THABANCHU. O. 48 M. e. of Bloem- 
fontein. 
THORNHILL. C. 7 M.s.ofQueenstown. 
TROE TROE. C. 3M.s.ofvanRbvnsdorp. 
TSOMA. C. 33 M. n.-e. of Cathcart. 
TULBAGH. C. 13 M. n.-w. of Ceres.. 
TULI (Fort). R. About 150 M. n. of 

Pietersburg. 
TWEE BOSCH. T. 42 M. s.-w. of 

Lichtenburg. 
TWEEFONTEIN. O. 25 M. w. of 

Harrysmith. 
TWEEWATERS. C. 17 M. s.-e. of 

Stcvtterville. 
TYLDEN. C. R.-S., 14 M. n. of Cathcart. 
CITENHAGE. C Railway-station, 20 

to 22 M. n.-e. of Port Elisabeth. 



196 



INDEX OF PLACES. 



UTKI.ik. T. Railway-station, 5 M.w. 

of Middclburg. 
I MZLNTO. N. 42 M. s.-w. of Durban. 
II.UNDI. Z. 83 M. n. of Eshowe. 
I AIONDALE. C. 32 M. s.-w. of Wil- 

lowmore. 
1 PINGTON. 0. About 60 M. n. of Ken- 
hurt 165 

UTRECHT. T. 31 M. s.-e. of Volksrust 116 

VAALKOP. C. In then, of Cape Colony. 
\ A.M. KUANS. N. On the Tugela, about 
15 M. n.-w. of Colenso . 127, 150, 151 

VALSCH RIVER, 0. Tributary of the 

Vaal River, n.-w. of Kroonstad . . 11 

VENTERSSTAD. C. 21 M. s.-e. of Nor- 
vals-Pont. 

VENTERSDORP. T. 32 M. n.-w. of Pot- 
chefstroom. 

VENTERSBURG. O. 31 M. s. of Kroon- 
stad. 

YEREENIGING. T. Railway-station, 
30 M. s. of Johannesburg. 

VERULAM. N. Railway-station, 15 M. 
n. of Durban. 

VICTORIA-WEST. C. 45 M. n. of Rich- 
mond. 

VICTORIA-WEST. ROAD. C. Railway- 
station, 9 M. s. of Victoria-West. 

VIERFONTEIN. O. Railway-Terminus 
23 M. n. of Bothaville. 

VILJOENS DRIFT. T. On the Vaal 

River, near Vereeniging .... 38, 79 

VILLIERSDORP. C. 26 M. e. of Stellen- 
bosch. 

VILLIERSDORP. O. 18 M. n. of Frank- 
fort. 

VLAKFONTEIN. T. Railway-station, 
17 M. s.-w. of Heidelberg. 

VLAKFONTEIN. T. 30 M. w. of 
Klerksdorp. 

VREDE. O. About 60M.from Harrysmith. 

VREDENDAL. C. 14 M. s.-w. of van 
Rhynsdorp. 

VREDEFORT. 0. 47 M.n. of Kroonstad. 

VOLKSRUST. T. 53 M. s.-e. of Standerton 1 1 6 

VRYBURG. B.B. Railway-station, 95 M. 
s.-w. of Mafeking. 

VRIJHEID. T. 61 M. s.-e. of Volksrust 

114, 115, 127 

WAGEXAARSKRAAL. C. 40 M. n. of 
Beaufort-West. 

AVAKKERSTROOM T. 18 M. w. of 

Volksrust 115 

WALLEKRAAL. C. 21 M. w. of Garies. 

WARMBAD. G. 48 M. n. of Pella. 

WARM HAD. T. About 60 M. n. of Pre- 
toria, on the Pietersburg-Railway. 

WARREXTON. C. Railway - station, 
46 M. n. of Kimberlev. 



page 

WASCHBANK. N. Railway - station, 

about 10 M. s. of Glencoe 119 

WATERBERG. T. n. of Pretoria. 

WATERFORD. C. 35 M. s. of Pearston. 

WATERVAL-BOVEN. T. Railway- 
station, 5 or 6 M.e. of Machadodorp. 

WATER VAL-ONDER. T. Railway-stat., 
8 or 9 M. e. of Machadodorp. 

WEENEN. N. 15 M. n -e. of Eastcourt xvii 

WELLINGTON. C. Railway -station, 
38 M. n.-e. of Capetown. 

WELVERDIEND. T. n. of Potchef- 
stroom. 

WEPENER. O. 60 M. s.-e. of Bloem- 
fontein. 

WESTON. N. 33 M. n.of Pietermaritzbg. 

WETSDORP(de). O. 42M.s.-e.ofBloem- 
fontein. 

WHITTLESEA. C. 22 M. s. of Queens- 
town. 

WITKLIP. C. 18 M. n.-e. of Murrays- 
burg. 

WILLOWMORE. C. Railway-station, 

65 M. s.-w. of Aberdeen 176 

WIMBLEDON. C. Railway-station, 8M. 
s. of Kimberley. 

WLNBURG. O. 68 M. n.-e. of Bloem- 

fontein 181 

WINDSORTON. C. 30 M. n.-w. of Kim- 
berley. 

WITMOS. C. R.-S.,27M.s. ofCradock. 

WITWATER. C. Railway-station, 9 M. 
n. of Orange-River Station. 

WITWATERSRAND. T. Mountains xx, 

46, 148 

WITTEWATER. C. Near Piquetberg. 

WOLMARANSSTAD. T. 48 M. s.-w. of 
Klerksdorp. 

WOLVEFONTEIN STATION. C. Rail- 
way-station, 23 M. s.-w. of Darlington. 

WORCESTER. C. Railway-station, 63 M. 
n.-e. of Capetown 

WUPPERTHAL. C. 18 M. s.-e. of Clan- 
will i am. 

WYKSVLEY (van) C. 45 M. n.-w. of 
Carnarvon. 

ZASTRON. O. 39 M. s. of Wepener. 

ZEEKOEGAT. C. About 35 M. n.-e. of 
Prince Albert. 

ZEERUST. T. 39 M. n. of Lichtenburg. 

ZOUTPAN. T. 65 M. n. of Pieters- 
burg. 

ZOUTPANSBERG. T. District in the 

north of Transvaal .... xviii, 2, 117 

ZUURBERG. C. 5M. s. of Willowmore. 

ZUURBRAAK. C. 14 M. n.-e. of Swel- 
lendam. 

ZWAGERSHOEK. C. 30 M. s.-w. of 
Cradock. 



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